Wor-Wic Community College asked Worcester and Wicomico County officials for financial assistance to cover a $600,000 budget shortfall. The shortfall is due to a decline in enrollment and a rise in health care costs.
As reported in The Dispatch:
On Tuesday Murray Hoy, president of Wor-Wic, approached both the Worcester County Commissioners and the Wicomico County Council to ask for funding to help cover a budgetary shortfall. Worcester County agreed to contribute $175,200 while Wicomico County agreed to fund $212,400. Hoy is expected to return to Wicomico County in May to seek an additional transfer.
“I’m coming to you with hat in hand asking you to help offset a $600,000 shortfall,” Hoy said.
In a presentation Tuesday morning, Hoy told Worcester County officials the community college was close to $1.3 million in the hole this year. He said the shortfall was attributable to two things — a decline in enrollment and higher than expected medical benefits costs. Hoy said the decline in enrollment was a trend community colleges nationwide were experiencing. While last year half of Maryland community colleges saw declines, this year they’ve all seen declines, Hoy said. He said nationally, there was a 9 percent reduction in community college enrollment since the end of the country’s recession.
To combat the increased medical expenses and the declining enrollment, the school has started strategically freezing positions, instituted a travel freeze, eliminated the plan to contract with the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department for a deputy, and removed 14 credit program options. Officials are also looking for school-wide budget reductions.
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