State Budget Contains the Most Visionary Investments in Community Colleges in over a Decade
Contact: Catherine Starghill, Esq.
Director of Strategy, Outreach & Communications
Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed a state budget for fiscal year 2022 championed by the Legislature that includes visionary investments in New Jersey’s Community Colleges. New Jersey’s Community Colleges thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and key legislative leaders for working together to develop a budget that will expand economic opportunity for more New Jerseyans, will strengthen Community Colleges, and will support partnerships with employers and other education institutions that will grow the state’s economy.
The state budget includes:
An increase in state operating aid for Community Colleges of $10 million
This increase in operating aid is the first such increase in thirteen years and will support Community Colleges’ commitment to (1) expanding access to higher education, (2) addressing equity gaps, (3) increasing the educational opportunities of adults, and (4) expanding student success. State investment in Community Colleges, which will total $144 million in FY2022, provides essential and foundational support for the 18 Community Colleges, and supports the colleges’ effort to offer high-quality, affordable education.
Full funding for the Community College Opportunity Grant Program
The Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program, enshrined in state law this past year, is currently assisting thousands of individuals in households with less than $65,000 adjusted gross income to attend Community College tuition free. The state budget will ensure that New Jerseyans, of all ages, have the opportunity to earn a postsecondary credential or degree. The CCOG program, when connected to the newly funded Garden State Guarantee Program, will provide Community College students the opportunity to earn an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree tuition free.
Significant investments in Workforce Alignment and Development
The budget includes investments that will help to create a more dynamic and responsive education and workforce preparation ecosystem and will serve to leverage and strengthen other state and federal investments, and all New Jersey residents will benefit. The budget includes a $3 million investment in the basic skills of existing workers through the flexible and highly successful Workplace Literacy and Basic Skills Training program. The state budget also includes an investment of $8.5 million for Community Colleges, the business community, high schools, four-year colleges and universities, and other partners to work together to meet employers’ workforce needs by designing industry-valued credentials connected to degree programs that provide educational and career pathways for all New Jersey students and workers so they may achieve a livable wage and have economic mobility. These historic investments will ensure a more equitable and fairer economy for all New Jersey residents.
Together with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, New Jersey’s 18 Community Colleges look forward to using these workforce investments to link the education and workforce sectors of the state’s economy to ensure New Jersey has the most skilled, well educated workforce in the country.
New Jersey’s 18 Community Colleges thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and key legislative leaders for recognizing the critically important role Community Colleges play in expanding economic opportunity and to build a skilled workforce to propel economic growth.
New Jersey’s 18 agile and innovative Community Colleges are prepared to lead in the response to and recovery from this public health and economic crisis and to secure a brighter future for all New Jerseyans. The New Jersey Council of County Colleges provides statewide leadership for the advancement of New Jersey Community Colleges, performs coordinating responsibilities as required by law, and coordinates statewide efforts to build a skilled workforce and improve student success. We encourage you to visit our website at www.njccc.org.