Montpelier – Today the Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS) lauded Governor Phil Scott’s proposal to boost their state funding by $4 million with inflationary increases to follow. The new funding for the five-college system would be the first increase in base funding in nearly a decade. It will encourage their work to boost post-secondary attainment in the state, build a more efficient operation, and allow them to devote resources to what matters most for students.
VSCS Board of Trustees Chairwoman Martha O’Connor stated, “Governor Scott understands the pivotal role the Vermont State Colleges play in the current and future economy of this state. With his funding proposal, made during a challenging budget year, the Governor is taking a strong stand for post-secondary educational opportunity for all Vermonters.”
In his budget address, Governor Scott recognized the VSCS as critical to his priorities to build the Vermont workforce, keep young people in Vermont, and maintain access to affordable post-secondary education.
“This Governor understands that economic growth and opportunity requires education from the pre-K years through the attainment of a meaningful post-secondary credential or degree,” said VSCS Chancellor Jeb Spaulding.
The $4 million in additional funding will allow the VSCS to turn the corner on years of stagnant State support. Currently, state funding supports only 16% of the system’s operating budget, putting pressure on colleges to raise tuition rates and impacting the ability of too many Vermonters to attend or continue in college in their state’s public college system. With this new funding, the VSCS is pledging to limit tuition rates to inflation or less for school years 2018-2020.
To incentivize their current efforts, the $4 million will be distributed to the five colleges based on their success at boosting on-time graduation rates, increasing the number of Vermonters and the number of first-generation college students of modest means who earn credentials and degrees.
In support of Governor Scott’s substance abuse initiatives, the Vermont State Colleges will host a summit before the end of March to convene Vermont’s substance abuse professionals with higher education institutions across Vermont to identify and address gaps in this critical workforce.
“We are heartened by this Governor’s support and recognition of our colleges’ important work. We look forward to sharing with the Legislature our strategic plans to increase post-secondary attainment and to position our colleges for a strong future with their support,” said Spaulding.