Coalition applauds House leadership on community college reform

April 10, 2012

Boston  –The Coalition FOR Community Colleges: Putting Education to Work today praised the leadership of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for its efforts in support of making the state’s 15 community colleges a stronger, more aligned workforce development engine for the Massachusetts students and employers.

"For four months, the Coalition for Community Colleges has been making the case that the need for strong community colleges has never been more urgent, and today, the House budget shows that legislative leaders have heard the call," said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation , one of the conveners of the Coalition. "The House Ways and Means budget protects much of the additional resources requested by Governor Patrick for the system. Moreover, by including performance-based funding to support the best of the community colleges’ workforce development programs, setting the stage for broader accountability measures for community colleges and their executives, and promoting coordination across the community colleges, the House is taking important steps toward creating a strong, better aligned system."

The Coalition also applauded the fact that the House budget calls for additional governance reform in the community college system.

"We are pleased that the budget from the Ways and Means Committee recognizes the need for governance systems that better align the community colleges with the Board of Higher Education, the state’s vocational schools and workforce training programs, moving us toward a system that can effectively coordinate with local businesses and address the broader workforce development needs of the Commonwealth," said Daniel O’Connell, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership , a business organization that represents many of the Commonwealth’s largest employers.

"Coalition members look forward to a more thorough review of the House budget proposal, but we applaud Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey and Speaker Robert DeLeo for their leadership on this critical issue," O’Connell added.


For more information on the  Coalition FOR Community Colleges: Putting Education to Work , its members and background on the issues, please visit .

Media contacts:
Mark Horan – 617-391-9669 –
Harry-Jacques Pierre - 617-391-9635 –
Ted McEnroe – 617-338-3890 –

Among the elements of the House Ways and Means budget to note:

    Outside Section 87 requires the Commissioner of Higher Education, in consultation with the presidents, to develop a funding formula based in part on performance, and report on such formula to the legislature and Secretary of Administration and Finance by December 1, 2012. The formula shall consider accurate enrollment data, institutional performance on clearly defined goals and metrics, and the relationship with state initiatives around innovative workforce development practices. Goals and metrics shall include rate of completion, transfer rates, alignment of degree and certificate programs, coordinated procurement, and job placement rates.

    Outside Section 91 gives the Board of Higher Education 120 days to establish and issue guidelines and procedures for the search, selection, appointment, compensation, evaluation and removal of the chief executive officers of the state’s community colleges.

    Outside Section 88 creates a committee to provide the framework for the Board of Higher Education to award up to $12 million annually in grants to community colleges from gaming licensing fees. The committee will be chaired by the Commissioner of Higher Ed, and include the Secretaries of Education, Labor, Economic Development, and the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as representatives from the Commonwealth Corporation, the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board Association, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators, the Governor’s Science Technology Engineering and Math Advisory Council, and organized labor. The criteria for grants shall include collaboration with business, alignment with regional workforce needs, record of job placement, completion rates of students. These grants shall be matched by business and industry partners.

    Line Item 7066-0025 adds an additional $5 million for community colleges to promote higher completion rates, the adoption of standard course offerings and numbering, and consolidation and coordination of administration and procurements across the colleges.

    Outside Section 30 allows the Governor to appoint the Chair for each of the 15 community college Boards of Trustees. The appointed Chair must live in the area served by the community college.

    Outside Section 31 designates that each board include, as a non-voting member, a trustee for vocational-regional schools in the geographic area to promote greater interaction.

    Outside Section 32 mandates that the community college boards submit a report on capital needs and expenditures to the legislature and A&F annually.

    Outside Section 33 adds one member of the Board of Higher Education to the search committee for the community college presidents.