Committee passes Daughtry bill to provide additional funding for Maine Community College System

AUGUSTA – On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee voted in favor of a bill from Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, to support student success and improve graduation rates. LD 447, “An Act to Support Higher Education in Maine by Providing Funds to Maine’s Community Colleges,” received a vote of 7-3 with three members absent.


“Maine’s community colleges are vital institutions that help prepare folks from all backgrounds for good-paying, fulfilling careers, right here in Maine. But these students often face extra challenges beyond ‘traditional’ college students, and need extra support to succeed. This bill makes sure community colleges have the resources they need to help all their students,” said Sen. Daughtry. “The funding included in this bill represents an investment in the Maine Community College System, and the students who enroll in those colleges, that will literally help determine Maine’s future. I’m grateful to the members of the committee for their strong support of this bill.”


LD 447 would provide ongoing funds to the Maine Community College System to support students’ learning and completion for a credential of value. In particular, some of these funds will be directed to help students whose academics were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill appropriates $5 million each year for the next two fiscal years, through 2025.


“This bill will help students who attend Maine’s Community Colleges to finish their degrees and be prepared to enter the Maine workforce,” said Jason Judd, the Executive Director of Educate Maine, in testimony supporting the bill. “Although Maine has invested significantly in helping students enroll in community college programs, we must do more to help make sure students have the supports to persist from semester to semester and finish their degrees. These supports include high quality advising, tutoring, career guidance, and other necessary supports.”


The Maine State Chamber of Commerce also testified in support of the bill.


The bill now faces votes in the Senate and House.

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