Below is a template to write a letter to your lawmakers.
The Honorable [insert full name here]
[City, State, Zip]
Dear [Representative or Senator] [insert last name here],
As a resident of your district who supports [insert community college name here], I am urging to support increased funding for Pennsylvania’s community colleges in the FY 18-19 budget. Continued state support of the colleges is necessary for the colleges to continue to provide an accessible, high-quality education and workforce opportunities for Pennsylvanians.
In the 2016-17 academic year, the colleges served more than 317,000 students from every county in the Commonwealth. [Share your story about how community college has helped you…]
Community colleges are constantly re-evaluating and retooling their course offerings and operations to ensure that they are in alignment with community and workforce needs. College operations are regularly examined to ensure they are operating efficiently and effectively and are responsible stewards of public resources. Over the years, the colleges have controlled expenses by reducing costs, reallocating resources, and creating efficiencies across all aspects of college operations. From 2012-2015, the colleges collectively reduced their workforce by 9%, saving more than $22M.
Pennsylvania’s community colleges are the largest provider of public postsecondary education in the Commonwealth and the sector that plays a significant role in the Commonwealth’s education and workforce development systems. As budget discussions evolve, I hope that additional funding will be distributed to the community colleges.
I support an increase to the college’s operating appropriation which will allow them to recover from years of inadequate funding levels. Additional funds will help colleges to partner with K-12 education, businesses and employers, and other postsecondary education providers to offer additional opportunities for students. For FY 18-19, the colleges have requested that the operating appropriation be increased by $10.6M, bringing the total operating appropriation to $242.7M.
Investing in Pennsylvania’s community colleges provides a significant return on investment and will help to grow economic development, workforce training and access to a quality, affordable education in Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.