Date: March 16, 2009
Media Contacts: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Marcus Rosano, 240-567-4022
Statement by Dr. Brian K. Johnson, President of Montgomery College, On the Release of the County Executive’s FY 10 Operating Budget
Montgomery College recognizes that the County is in a difficult economic situation, and our requested operating budget for fiscal year 2010 reflects this reality. The economy has driven Montgomery College enrollment to record levels, and strained the ability of the College to meet the increased demand while maintaining academic excellence and expected student services. We are grateful that the County Executive has suggested close to full funding of our operating budget request.
We submitted a modest operating budget to the County Executive. Montgomery College administrators, faculty and staff worked hard to get to this level by instituting cost saving measures, deferring major purchases, implementing a hiring freeze, cutting positions and suspending cost of living increases, while recommending a tuition increase for students.
It is a proven trend that enrollment at community colleges rises as the economy falls. We anticipate many more students and recently laid-off workers will come to the College this fall for educational opportunities or retraining. The number of financial aid applications this current academic year has increased 12 ½ percent over this time last year, and the first batch of 2009 applications shows a 20 percent increase over last year at this time. More than 6,000 students have already applied for aid for next fall.
The increased need for financial aid by our students—this county’s future taxpayers—coupled with the demands of staffing new buildings opening at the College, and higher utility and benefit costs required an increase in our funding request. We look forward to working with the County Council to ensure that the College will be prepared to continue providing affordable access to excellent higher education programs.
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 100 areas of study.
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