Skip to main content
Tell your legislator to say NO to the Governor’s permanent Corporate Transit Fee. SEND A MESSAGE

As community colleges hold commencement ceremonies for their graduates this month, the leaders of these public institutions make a public plea to Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature to restore their $20 million funding cut in the proposed FY25 state budget. 

During legislative budget hearings on Thursday and in an open letter to the Governor and Legislature published in, the community college leaders said that the proposed funding cut represents a 12% reduction in operating aid that could lead to tuition increases, staff layoffs and programming cuts. 

“If a budget is meant to reflect our values, we hope you will consider what community colleges mean not only to the Class of 2024, but to our state’s future as well,” wrote the leaders of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges in an op-ed that was also signed by the presidents of the state’s 18 community colleges. 

“We ask you to work together to finalize a 2025 fiscal budget that honors the achievement of this month’s graduates and that provides no less than $169 million in state operating aid resources that are essential to running our colleges,” the op-ed said.  

New Jersey’s community colleges are “engines of economic growth” that educate about 240,000 students each year. The colleges partner with NJBIA and hundreds of employers to “build career pathways that respond to a rapidly evolving world, from healthcare and life sciences to advanced manufacturing and renewable energy,” the op-ed stated. 

“Many of our graduates are prepared to immediately enter the workforce; others will move on to study at four-year colleges and universities,” the op-ed said. “Among this month’s graduates are future scientists, engineers, lawyers, thespians, athletes, teachers, doctors, nurses – even future governors and legislators.” 

New Jersey’s community colleges are historically underfunded compared to their national counterparts, according to discussion points submitted to the Assembly Budget Committee. In FY 2024, New Jersey ranked 46th among the 47 states with community colleges in terms of state support per full-time student. State investment in FY 2024 totaled $2,506 per full-time student –71% below the national median of $8,555. 

“Community college education contributes to upward economic and social mobility for our students, to a skilled workforce for our employers, and to individuals who earn higher salaries and are healthier and more engaged citizens,” the op-ed stated. “We ask you to pay tribute to the Class of 2024 by helping us prepare for the Class of 2025.” 

Go here to read the entire op-ed. 

Photo caption: Anthony Iacono, Ph.D., President, County College of Morris, and a member of NJBIA’s Board of Trustees, testified Thursday before the Assembly Budget Committee.