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Statement by Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College, on FY15 Operating and Capital Budget Decisions by the County Council

I am most grateful for the operating and capital budget decisions made today by the Montgomery County Council. Its investment will enable the College to protect affordability, advance excellence, and enhance access and success. The council’s actions are proof that the horizon shines brightly as we approach the end of another academic year at Montgomery College.

The fiscal year 2015 operating budget will include $17.8 million in county support, which marks an increase of 18 percent over last year. Combined with an increase of $3 million in state funding support, our budget will enable the College to emerge from the effects of the recession and propel Montgomery College forward ensuring that every member of our community can benefit in the new economy.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommendation and the council’s actions recognize the sacrifices made by our employees and students over the last few years. With the increased revenue from the county and state, salary improvements for our employees will be fully funded.

The budget also keeps tuition affordable for our students who equally bear the burden during challenging economic times. I am pleased that the county supported a modest tuition adjustment recently approved by the Board of Trustees of $3 per credit hour for local residents, $6 per credit hour for state residents, and $9 per credit hour for out-of-state residents.

In addition to supporting our employees and our students, the council’s decisions will provide funding to open the Bioscience Education Center on time for classes this fall, hire to new faculty, support nursing and financial aid staff, expand ACES (Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success) by providing coaches on our campuses, enhance advising, fund the Welcome Centers, and translate the College’s website to reach more of the county’s families.

The council also took action on the College’s capital budget by providing resources to complete the renovation of the Rockville Campus’ Science West Building, begin a new parking garage, also at the Rockville Campus, and to keep the renovation of the Math & Science Center at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus on schedule. In total, the council appropriated in fiscal year 2015 $53 million to the College’s capital budget, including $13 million in information technology support.

Our elected officials, through today’s decisions, demonstrate their commitment to high quality, locally-provided postsecondary education. With this renewed investment, the College is better positioned to serve today’s student and to help move Montgomery forward.

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