Scarnati: Rural Regional Community College
Legislation Advances in the Senate
HARRISBURG- The Senate Education Committee voted
this week to unanimously pass legislation which will create a Rural Regional
Community College Initiative, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).
Scarnati, who introduced Senate Bill 1000 in June, explained that the
legislation is a bi-partisan measure which is based largely on recommendations
by a Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) study completed in
Bill 1000 will help set the foundation for establishing rural public community
college opportunities in Pennsylvania and help meet the educational needs of
students in rural areas,” Scarnati stated.
noted that a public hearing on Senate Bill 1000 was held by the Senate
Education Committee in Harrisburg in October. Testifiers at the hearing included the North Central Workforce
Investment Board, American Refining Group Inc., Pennsylvania Commission for
Community Colleges, Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Rural
Community College Alliance.
Bill 1000 received an in depth review by the Senate Education Committee at the
October hearing,” Scarnati said. “Thanks
to input by education, business and community leaders we were able to ensure
that this legislation will provide a solid foundation for rural regional
mentioned that in the House of Representatives, Representative Martin Causer
has introduced a companion bill to SB 1000, which would seek to establish a
rural community college program. A
hearing on House Bill 1701 was held this week by the House Education Committee.
study which helped provide a framework for SB 1000, concluded that there is a
significant need for public community college programs in rural
Pennsylvania. According to the report,
by 2018 most jobs will require post-secondary education training, however 25 of
the 26 rural counties in Pennsylvania have no community college programs.
rural communities with access to affordable higher education is critical to
providing new career opportunities for students and improving the economy,”
Scarnati said. “I look forward to
continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate and House of
Representatives to launch this important educational initiative.”
Bill 1000 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.