Statement of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges on Final Passage of the FY 2025 State Budget

Aaron Fichtner / Maria Heidkamp

New Jersey Council of County Colleges / ( or (609) 392-3434

New Jersey Community Colleges Thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and Legislative Leaders for Continued Investment

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges thanks Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and the entire legislature for their leadership in restoring the $20 million in operating aid for our 18 community colleges in the FY 2025 state budget that was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor on June 28, 2024.

We greatly appreciate the support of members of the Senate and Assembly for community colleges during the state budget process. It is clear that the Governor, the Senate President, the Assembly Speaker, and members of the legislature heard the many voices of community college students, leaders, employers, social justice partners, and fellow lawmakers who spoke on our behalf during the past four months. The final budget is an endorsement of the vital role our colleges play in educating 240,000 students and promoting economic prosperity.

We thank Assembly Budget Chair Pintor Marin and Senate Budget Chair Sarlo and members of the Budget Committees for welcoming presidents and students to testify on behalf of community colleges at public hearings and for their support of community colleges. We thank Senator Cryan, Senator Zwicker, and Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson for their leadership and vision, as well as many other lawmakers who leant their support for community colleges in the state budget.

We thank all of our community college students, especially those who spoke out publicly in support of their institutions, and the presidents, faculty, and staff who make their education and career pathways possible.

Moving ahead, we must do more together to build a more equitable and prosperous New Jersey. In this moment of complex economic, social, technological, demographic, and climate change, we invite Governor Murphy, state legislators, and a broad coalition of business, labor, social justice, and community-based organizations to work with us to increase access to postsecondary degrees and workforce credentials that lead to careers with family sustaining wages and power our state’s innovation economy.

Our 18 community colleges are committed to four bold strategic priorities, as reflected in the recently released New Jersey’s Opportunity Agenda: Building Pathways to Equity and Economic Prosperity:

  • Pillar 1: Helping All High School Students Access Pathways to Postsecondary and Career Success
  • Pillar 2: Fostering Student Success and Completion in Postsecondary Education and Training
  • Pillar 3: Building Transparent, Seamless, and Stackable Student Pathways That Respond to the Changing Economy
  • Pillar 4: Helping Adults Attain the Credentials They Need for Career Mobility and Labor Market Success

The FY 2025 state budget takes a step in the right direction, and again, we thank our state leaders for restoring $20 million in operating aid for community colleges. The real work lies ahead.