Hogan signs Wor-Wic funding billAll schools get $220,000 more, but western schools still about $400K ahead
(April 21, 2017) An apparent inequity in funding for small colleges in eastern and western Maryland was rectified somewhat on Tuesday when Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation that guarantees more money in state grants to Wor-Wic Community College beginning in fiscal 2019.
According to the analysis provided by the nonpartisan Department of Legislative Services, Allegany, Garrett and Hagerstown colleges each received about $821,000 in fiscal 2018, while four others, Wor-Wic, Carroll, Cecil and Chesapeake received only about half that.
According to the report, the western colleges were due to get about $851,000 and the eastern colleges approximately $426,000 next fiscal year.
Delegate Mary Beth Carozza and Dr. Ray Hoy, president of Wor-Wic, said in separate interviews the discrepancy was because the presiding officer at the time the funding formula was determined was from the western part of the state.
Under the new law, each college will receive about $220,000 more, while still leaving about $400,000 difference between east and west.
And the disparity is not based on enrollment.
According to the Maryland Higher Education Committee, and cited in the legislative review of the bill, Hagerstown, Carroll and Wor-Wic schools have the highest full-time community college enrollment in the state, followed by Chesapeake and Cecil.
Overall enrollment at every community college in the state has decreased by about 15 percent since 2013.
Still, Hoy is pleased with the result.
“I think this is the best session I’ve had, and I’ve been involved with it since 2000,” Hoy said.
Hoy said his school is funded in three parts: contributions from the state, from the counties and from the students.
“This will help us during our out years, and takes some pressure off the counties and the students,” he said.
Additional funding will come to the college’s non-credit courses, such as certified nursing assistant, truck driving or certain pharmacy courses, will also come from the More Jobs of Maryland Act, also signed into law by Hogan.
“We lost about $1 million for continuing education students, but it was offset by offering more job training and other programs to make workers more valuable to employers,” Hoy said.
Also benefitting Wor-Wic, another item that failed legislatively but was placed into the governor’s budget, allows high school seniors in Somerset County to attend Wor-Wic tuition-free.
“This is a real positive thing. We’re really delighted,” Hoy said. “Our local delegation really stepped up.”
Since the funding won’t be allocated for another year, Hoy said he had no concrete plans on how the additional monies will be spent, but said the school would plan based on the needs of local businesses and industry.