HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 92
(By Delegates Sumner, Sigler, Perry and Canterbury)
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 whose mission includes the promotion and provision of high-quality, accessible and responsive education and training opportunities that maximize student learning and the improvement of the standard of living for West Virginia and the economic vitality and competitiveness of West Virginia; and
Whereas, The Legislature recognized that the funding model previously employed had not moved all state institutions equitably towards comparable peer funding levels, leaving West Virginia institutions at a competitive disadvantage to their national peers and making it imperative that the state make progress on narrowing that peer inequity, when it adopted Senate Bill 448 in 2004, and established a specific method of allocating funds appropriated in excess of general revenue appropriations for fiscal year 2001 which was intended to reduce peer inequity; and
Whereas, No real progress has been made toward reducing peer inequity, in spite of the adoption of the new funding model, both with relation to peer funding among West Virginia educational institutions (“internal equity”) and with relation to each institution’s national peers (“external equity”). However, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has established, among its principles, the goal of improving peer equity, both internal equity and external equity; and
Whereas, For fiscal year 2009-2010 total state appropriations per annualized full time equivalent for the ten community and technical colleges were $36,783,242 less than the comparable average state appropriations of their peers. In addition to the substantial deficiency in external equity, there also exists a great disparity in the funding levels among the community and technical colleges. The continuation of the 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 ”, 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 the ability of the community and technical college system to accomplish its mission is the lack of a reliable and adequate funding source for the maintenance, improvement and expansion of the system’s facilities; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the funding of community and technical colleges in this state, including a significant reduction of the disparity in external peer equity, the elimination of the disparity in internal funding among community and technical colleges, identification of an adequate funding model for community and technical colleges and a dedicated funding source to provide for the future needs of community and technical colleges for the maintenance, improvement and expansion of their facilities; 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.