This past week, leaders from the AFT-Maryland and UAMDCC were in Annapolis to protest proposed budget cuts to the state’s community colleges. Dozens of faculty members from AFT-AAUP affiliated unions sent letters, talked to their legislators, and testified in Annapolis for the “State Aid to Community College” budget hearing.
The proposed cuts, part of the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA), is penny-wise and pound foolish. It would permanently lower the state’s contribution to the community colleges by at least 2.5% annually, threatening key programs and positions at our state’s two-year institutions. It proposes the state back out of its commitment, known as the Cade Funding Formula, to provide 1/3 of the operating funds per enrolled student.
If the proposed cuts are enacted, the following schools we see significant reductions in state aid for the upcoming fiscal year:
- Community College of Baltimore County: -$4.5M
- Montgomery College: -$3M
- Prince George’s Community College: -$2M
- Howard County Community College: -$1.4M
- Cecil Community College: -$1M
- Frederick County Community College: -$70K
The cuts come as the state faces an unsustainable financial picture. Budget deficits could stretch into the billions of dollars if additional revenue is not secured. Cuts to community colleges may only be the beginning if the state refuses to address an ongoing revenue crisis. It is clear that with reduced funding, the faculty at these schools will be asked to do more with fewer resources. In addition, Maryland counties, which promise to fund 1/3 of the operating costs of their community colleges, will face a grim financial picture when they consider their budgets later this spring.
The only way to reverse these cuts and defend appropriate funding for our community colleges is to demand better of your elected state representatives. AFT-Maryland will be hosting a Lobby Night in Annapolis – an event that brings Union members to talk about their concerns directly to their state Senators and Delegates.
Buses leave @ 5:00 p.m.
Article by AFT-Maryland Staff