Renew and Refresh Commitment to Community Colleges

Legislation to require the State to fully fund community colleges under the Cade formula  would increase the State share of per-pupil funding to 29% of that appropriated to 4-year public institutions of higher education in the State. MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified in support of Senate Bill 596 before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on February 28, 2018.

The increases in state aid to community colleges would continue gradually through 2022 in this bill with an accelerated phase-in. It allows for counties and community colleges to manage costs and provide more Marylanders with access to opportunities in higher education through low-cost education and job training.

From MACo Testimony:

Maryland counties have supported full funding of the State’s Cade formula to fund community colleges. This formula represents the appropriate state share of the three-part state-county-student partnership to support community college offerings.

When state funding for community colleges lags, additional pressure builds on county budgets and on student tuition. When county budgets face distress from the economic climate or state actions, the local contributions cannot reliably offset these cutbacks. For the past several years, this combined dynamic has led to increased tuition costs for Maryland community college students, at a time when the training and education opportunities are arguably most needed.

SB 596 would increase the Cade formula, signaling a new commitment to community colleges on behalf of the State. This legislation would support policy changes that could allow community colleges to extend free and low-cost community college education and career training access to more Marylanders.”

For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.