(4:55 PM) County, JCC Officials Discuss Possible Funding Formula Change

Right, Daniel DeMarte, Jamestown Community College president, and Mark Martello, Jamestown Community College vice president of administration, discuss possible changes to the funding formula the Chautauqua County government uses to pay for county residents to go to the school. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Because of a decrease in enrollment, Jamestown Community College officials are asking Chautauqua County to change its funding formula for county residents who go to the school tuition free.

On Thursday, Daniel DeMarte, JCC president, and Mark Martello, JCC vice president of administration, addressed the Chautauqua County Legislature Audit and Control Committee about the possible change. DeMarte said since the day he became the new president of the college, which was about nine months ago, he has been studying the school’s $50 million budget. He said the current model used through the USA Scholarship program, which provides students in the top 20 percent of their graduating class free tuition, isn’t working for the college any longer because of the decrease in enrollment.

Under the proposed change, the county would have a set minimum that it pays to the college, and that minimum would increase based on an annual rate of inflation. Currently, the county pays a chargeback based on the number of county residents that are full-time enrolled students. That number has decreased over the years, meaning the amount of chargeback funding given to the college has also been on the decline. Martello said of the 30 community colleges in the state, only JCC and one other use the same model.

“Hopefully our efforts will stop the bleeding,” Martello said.

See Friday’s edition of The Post-Journal for more coverage.