County boosts funding for CCC to help school hire, retain teachers

Officials increase support for college to $5.6 million

February 02, 2005|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll Community College started its spring semester last week with an increased enrollment but without a full complement of full-time faculty because salary demands are stymieing the school's ability to hire and retain teachers, officials said yesterday.

The college needs one math teacher, and the nursing school, which opened last year with 100 students, is clamoring for more instructors.

A math teacher declined a position at the last minute, saying several public school systems could pay more. And the college is paying its allied-health faculty more than its other instructors - but not at levels commensurate with science instructors at other two-year colleges, CCC President Faye Pappalardo said yesterday.

In an effort to enhance teacher recruitment and retention, the Carroll County commissioners boosted their financial contribution to the college by $1 million yesterday, making $400,000 of that immediately available.

"Our enrollment has increased significantly since 1999, more than at any other community college in the system," said Pappalardo. "We have difficulty recruiting teachers. We are pleading with [the county] to help us get where other colleges are as far as salary."

"Our goal is to be a partner with the college and the state and to pay one-third of the cost for running the college," said Ted Zaleski, county director of management and budget. "This will give them the means to address their concerns on salary."

The money will be added to the county's $4.6 million contribution to the school's operating expenses. The extra $600,000 will become available July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge had said that she wanted to act sooner than that. At least a portion of the additional funds is needed immediately, she said.

"They have the nightmare of constantly hiring adjuncts instead of full-time teachers," Gouge said. "We need to get this straightened out before the budget season begins."

The board decided to transfer the $400,000 from the county's contingency reserves to the school immediately to enable it to intensify its recruiting efforts.

State and college budget decisions could affect the county's future contributions, officials said. The commissioners included a funding limit of 35 percent of the college's operating budget, should the state lower its contribution. The county's share will not go lower than 31 percent, officials said.

"We would go as far as 35 percent in any year and no lower than 31 percent," Zaleski said. "The idea would be in either case that we would move back to one-third."

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