MACo to State: Don’t Shortchange Community Colleges

Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice and Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Jack Wilson, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Chair and Vice Chair, ask the State to correct a calculation error that accounts for a $9 million decrease in fiscal year 2020 State funding for community colleges.

craig rice
MACo Education Subcommittee Chair Montgomery County Council Member Rice
Jack Wilson, Jr.
MACo Education Subcommittee Vice Chair Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Wilson

As has been the case for many years, the State’s fiscal year 2020 budget did not fully fund the Cade Community College formula. The Cade formula, named after former Senator John Cade, is a statutory guide designed to create a three-way split between state and county funding for community colleges, and revenues earned through student tuition.

The formula ties community college funding to the funding that is received by the State’s 4-year universities. According to Dr. Bernie Sadusky of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, the fiscal year 2020 State budget fails to fully fund the Cade formula.

In addition, the Cade funding calculation did not integrate general salary increases for employees at the selected four-year institutions, an error that resulted in a $9.1 million loss to community colleges, in addition to the persistent funding gap below full Cade, according to the Department of Legislative Services.

Leadership on MACo’s Education Subcommittee reached out to the General Assembly’s budget committees and the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management to urge them to correct this calculation error and provide additional funding for Community Colleges.

From the letter:

As you complete this year’s state budget, we wanted to reach out to you on the topic of community college funding. It has been brought to MACo’s attention that due to a calculation error, Maryland Community Colleges have lost $9.1 million dollars from their fiscal year 2020 allowance.

Maryland counties are partners with the State in funding community colleges. The fiscal relationship envisioned by the Community College Cade formula was a three-way split between the State, the counties, and tuition revenues. When the State’s share falls short, either county governments make up the needed difference or community college students become the victims, sustaining college operations through tuition increases.

For more information, read the full Community College Funding Letter from Council Member Craig Rice and Commissioner Jack Wilson.


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