FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard Thanks County Executive Isiah Leggett for His Steadfast Funding Support
Pollard Pledges to Work with County Council for Funding College Priorities
Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard released the following statement regarding County Executive Isiah Leggett’s budget recommendation for the College:
“Today is bittersweet for me and for Montgomery College. While I appreciate Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommendations for the College’s FY19 operating budget, which includes $2 million in new county funds over last year, this is the last time we will work with our friend, partner, and consummate advocate for student success. As Mr. Leggett embarks on his new life outside of public office, I express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for his unwavering support of the College, our mission, and our students.
I welcome the county executive’s recommendation of $2 million in additional county funding, which reflects his commitment to the College and our shared goals of educational excellence and prudent fiscal stewardship. In that spirit, the College made reductions of $3.7 million in FY18 spending and contributed another $4.4 million in savings that will be used in support of the FY19 budget.
Last month, the College submitted its operating budget to the county executive and the council with a total appropriation request of $314.8 million for FY19, which is an increase of 0.28 percent from the current fiscal year. The county’s share of our budget request is $143.3 million, which this year includes an additional $4.3 million dedicated solely to support compensation increases—none of it is allocated for new program initiatives.
Even with these savings efforts, our operating budget advances several important access initiatives. Next year we plan to offer an Early College opportunity, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), in which high school juniors and seniors will attend classes on an MC campus. Career Navigators are planned to help MCPS and MC students find the right educational path and connect with jobs or internships. Additionally, we hope to expand access to training and education for incumbent workers to close skill gaps, advance innovation, and improve productivity. The exciting Raptors Rising recruiting program has the potential for raising our prominence among thousands of MCPS students. Enhanced communications strategies are planned to greatly increase our outreach to underserved populations in our community. What’s more, we plan to leverage the impact of our community engagement centers by taking our services to where they are needed most at various partner nonprofit locations throughout the county.
Our budget increases scholarships by $107,000, commensurate with the anticipated tuition increase, to help affordability, plus $160,000 in education program scholarships made possible by proceeds from the sale of our child care center at the TP/SS Campus. We also plan to expand the Achieving the Promise Academy to help an additional 1,500 students succeed. The proposed budget also enhances our MC Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management with two additional campus officers.
Keeping access to this education affordable is made possible by our dedication to fiscal prudence. The College’s Board of Trustees FY19 budget proposal anticipates a 2.9 percent tuition increase; tuition and related fees are expected to generate $78.2 million. Because of the county’s longstanding funding commitment to the College, we are able to meet our requirement under state policy to limit student tuition to 30 percent of operating costs, ensuring that the College remains the most affordable higher education option for the residents of Montgomery County.
Our FY19 budget continues our commitment to spending for student success and builds on these efforts with renewed attention to our access mission. It balances our goals of fiscal discipline with providing a high-quality, post-secondary education that is accessible to our students. The county executive’s budget announcement today sets the stage for our work with the Montgomery County Council to seek full funding of our $4.3 million FY19 budget increase.”
Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.