HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York) that allows for a flexible, local funding system for Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and its 22 sponsoring school districts.
Senate Bill 874 would permit HACC to negotiate a funding level with its sponsoring school districts that is affordable to both the needs of the school districts and community college. By law, each community college must have a local sponsor, whether it be a school district or county. In addition, the law requires the local sponsor to provide the community college with funding at least equal to the community college’s annual operating costs less student tuition and the Commonwealth’s appropriation. Due to recent economic challenges, Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry County school districts have been struggling to meet this obligation, while also educating their students.
“I’m pleased we are close to putting into law an agreement between HACC and the original 22 sponsoring school districts, which balances fiscal realities and the need for quality, affordable continuing education,” Vance said. “During the past 50 years, HACC has grown and evolved into the state’s largest community college. This legislation will allow the school’s funding stream to evolve too. Rep. Sheryl Delozier was instrumental in moving the issue forward in the House.”
The bill is limited to community colleges that are sponsored by more than one school district, maintain an enrollment in excess of 20,000, and have more than four campuses that are approved by both the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. At this time, only HACC meets these criteria.
The bill now goes to the Governor of his consideration. If approved, it would go into effect in 60 days.
Vance’s district includes all of Cumberland County and Carroll, Fairview, Franklin, Monaghan, Warrington and Washington townships and Dillsburg, Franklintown and Wellsville boroughs in York County.
Contact: Tracy Polovick