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News Release

Date: May 2, 2006
Media Contact: Clay Whitlow (MACC), 410-974-8117; Steve Simon (Montgomery College), 301-251-7952

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Governor Signs Bill to Expand Community Colleges’ Base Funding
Approved Legislation Will Boost Cade and BCCC Funding Formulas over Six-year Span

Editors: Montgomery College is issuing this press release on behalf of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC).

Maryland’s state funding formula for community colleges will expand incrementally over a six-year span, under a General Assembly bill signed into law today by Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. The Governor’s approval of the legislation marks the final hurdle for an important budget initiative that community college officials have said is critical to their ability to provide high quality, affordable education for the increasing number of students they’ve been serving and to keep pace with expected growth over the next several years.

“Community colleges are now the leading providers of higher education in Maryland and it’s important that we have the resources we need to keep pace with growth and an increasing need for the educational opportunities we provide,” said Dr. Elaine Ryan, president of the College of Southern Maryland and chair of the Maryland Council of Community College Chief Executive Officers. “This bill marks a significant step forward in helping our colleges address the growing demand for our services.”

“This is a great victory for the hundreds of thousands of students each year who attend Maryland’s community colleges,” said Clay Whitlow, executive director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. “We’re extremely grateful for the Governor’s support of this bill and we’re particularly appreciative of the legislators who championed the initiative in the General Assembly – particularly the lead sponsors from each chamber, Senator (P.J.) Hogan and Delegate (Henry) Heller.”

The amount of State operating funding provided annually to Maryland’s 16 community colleges is established through two separate legislative formulas. The so-called “Cade funding formula” determines the state’s level of operating aid each year for 15 of the 16 community colleges. A second formula specifically determines the funding level for Baltimore City Community College, which is the only community college that receives no support from its local jurisdiction.

Each of these formulas ties funding for the community colleges to that of 10 four-year public institutions, including eight University System of Maryland institutions, Morgan State University and St. Mary’s College. Current law provides that the 15 Cade-funded colleges receive not less than 25 percent of the general fund appropriation per full-time equivalent student (FTE) to the designated four-year institutions. For Baltimore City Community College, the formula calls for the school to receive not less than 66 percent of the appropriation per FTE to the same four-year institutions.

Under the newly approved legislation, the Cade funding formula rate will grow incrementally over a six-year span, until it reaches the 30 percent level by 2013 and the Baltimore City funding formula will climb to 71 percent.

Community college officials note that these adjustments in the funding formulas should help to reverse a recent trend in which the state’s share of funding has been shrinking, as compared to that of the institutions’ other two primary sources: county funding and student tuition/fees.

For more information on Maryland’s community colleges, visit the Maryland Association of Community Colleges’ web site at

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