Mass. Community Colleges Glad For New Interest

Ann McClure's picture

Community college leaders and students said yesterday that they welcomed attention from Governor Deval Patrick, who on Monday called for sweeping changes to the 15-school system, even as they questioned whether his plan could make it through the Legislature intact.

In his State of the State address, Patrick proposed focusing the system on preparing students for technical jobs and centralizing the system by giving new authority to the Board of Higher Education. The board would distribute funding to individual schools based on several criteria, including enrollment and student success, and would also have a hand in setting student fees and deciding how the resulting revenue should be spent.

Finally, the board would create new guidelines for hiring presidents and review the leaders’ performance each year.

The governor’s proposal includes a $10 million systemwide funding increase, a challenge to the business community to match the amount, and a provision that would funnel some federal workforce development grants to the schools.

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