HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 108
(By Delegates Sumner, Sigler and Perry)
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the funding of the needs of community and technical colleges in this state.
Whereas, The Legislature recognizes that a system of strong, independently accredited community and technical colleges is essential to the economic vitality of the state; and
Whereas, There are ten community and technical colleges throughout this state which, since 2004 have all become independent, stand-alone institutions. The ten community and technical colleges operate together as the West Virginia Community and Technical College System under the governance of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education. The system’s mission includes promoting and providing high-quality, accessible and responsive education and training opportunities that maximize student learning, and improving the standard of living for, and the economic vitality and competitiveness of, the State of West Virginia; and
Whereas, The Legislature recognized that the funding model previously employed had not moved all state institutions of higher education equitably towards comparable peer funding levels, leaving West Virginia institutions at a competitive disadvantage to their national peers; and
Whereas, No measurable progress has been achieved toward reducing peer inequity, in spite of adopting the new funding method, neither with regard to peer funding among West Virginia educational institutions (“internal equity”) and with relation to each institution’s national peers (“external equity”); and
Whereas, For fiscal year 2010, total state appropriations per annualized full-time equivalent student for the ten community and technical colleges were significantly less than the comparable average state appropriations of their peers. In addition to the substantial deficiency in external equity, there exists also a great disparity in the funding levels among the state community and technical colleges. The perpetuation of this disparity in both internal and external peer equity threatens not only the ability of the community and technical college system to accomplish its mission, but also its ability to achieve one of the targets established in its master plan, entitled “Meeting the Challenge: 2010 - 2015”, which is to award 16,000 new certificate degrees and associate degrees between 2010 and 2015 in support of President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative goal. A further impediment to achieving its mission is the lack of a reliable and adequate funding source for the maintenance, improvement and expansion of the system’s facilities; and
Whereas, The Legislature should examine the various aspects of funding community and technical college education in West Virginia; and
Whereas, The examination should include, but not be limited to: Significantly reducing the disparity in external peer equity; eliminating the disparity in internal funding among community and technical colleges in the state; identifying an adequate funding model for community and technical colleges; and identifying a dedicated funding source to meet the future needs of community and technical colleges and the maintenance, improvement and expansion of their facilities; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is requested to study the funding of the needs of community and technical colleges in this state; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.