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News Release

Date: January 18, 2006
Media Contact: Steve Simon, 301-251-7952 or Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970

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Montgomery College Trustees Adopt Budget That Holds Line on Tuition
Budget Plan Reflects County Executive Duncan’s Call for Freezing Students’ Tuition Cost

Montgomery College's Board of Trustees this week sent the County Executive a $178.9 million fiscal year 2007 tax-supported operating budget that would hold the line on tuition for the first time in more than 10 years, allow for an increase in the number of course offerings, and support the cost of opening two buildings on the expanded Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

The Trustees adopted the budget at their monthly board meeting on Tuesday, the same day in which County Executive Doug Duncan announced his intention to provide the necessary funding to support a tuition freeze for next year.

“County Executive Duncan’s funding pledge provides tuition relief for students and the ability for the College to expand available course offerings,” said Dr. Sylvia Crowder, chair of the Board of Trustees. “It also helps us to ensure that we can maintain the highest quality academic programs by supporting salary enhancements for our faculty and staff, and by investing in our highest demand academic programs.”

“By building a budget that will enable us to freeze tuition,” said Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College, “our trustees and the County Executive – who made this initiative possible – are taking an important stand to protect college affordability, on behalf of all of the hard-working students we serve.”

The College’s budget plan would provide funding in FY ’07 to:

• Expand the number of available course offerings by more than 200 class sections.
• Boost the amount of available need-based scholarship money for students.
• Open the new Student Service Center and King Street Art Center, as part of the continued expansion of the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.
• Improve maintenance of the campuses and strengthen the security of its information technology systems.
• Support salary enhancements for faculty and staff, consistent with collective bargaining agreements and other County agencies.
• Cover rising health care and utility costs, despite efforts to moderate increases in both areas.
• Add some staff at the campuses, particularly those in support of fast-growing programs in the sciences.
• Upgrade the College’s ability to assess learning outcomes, as part of the preparation for its upcoming re-accreditation process.

Montgomery College’s adopted budget now goes to the County Executive for his review, as he prepares to submit his proposed FY ’07 County budget to the County Council by March 15. The Council has until the end of May to approve a final County operating budget, which would include its appropriation for Montgomery College, among other public agencies.

The College’s Trustees will vote this spring to officially set tuition and fees for next year, once that appropriation level is determined.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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