For Immediate Release
February 9, 2016
Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges Applaud Proposed Increase in College Funding
HARRISBURG— The leaders of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges are applauding Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget proposal, which recommends increased operating funds for the colleges over current levels. The additional funding will help the colleges to serve the educational and workforce needs of their communities and preserve access to higher education.
Last year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges served nearly 314,000 students from every county in Pennsylvania, and conferred 16,071 awards – 55% of them in STEM fields.
“Pennsylvania’s community colleges are key providers of higher education and workforce training in our communities. The $22.1 million increase in funding proposed by Governor Wolf would help to ensure that community college remains accessible and affordable for Pennsylvanians,” said Tom Leary, President of Luzerne County Community College and Board Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “We look forward to working together with the Wolf Administration and the General Assembly to pass a budget that includes increased funding for Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges.”
Governor Wolf’s budget recommends a total of $237.773 million in funding for community college operations. Community college capital funding is expected to remain stable. The proposed funding would begin to reverse both the effects of the dramatic cut in funding to the colleges in the 2011-12 fiscal year, and the effects of years of funding that has failed to keep pace with inflation.
“Governor Wolf’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction for community college funding,” said Elizabeth Bolden, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “Investing in community colleges is a valuable strategy for the Commonwealth to grow economic development, workforce training and access to a quality, affordable education in Pennsylvania.”
The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a voluntary membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges. Its members include the college presidents, members of the colleges’ boards of trustees, and key college administrators. The Commission represents the interests of and advocates for the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers. For more information, please visit www.pacommunitycolleges.org.