Beginning in fall 2018, recent graduates of Baltimore’s public high schools will be able to attend Baltimore City College to earn a one-year certificate or two-year degree with the cost of tuition and fees covered by the city. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) unveiled the plan at a news briefing on Wednesday as part of a strategy to combat crime and violence.
“Community college has become critical in providing the necessary education and training that high school graduates need to pursue a trade or a four-year degree,” Pugh said,” in announcing her crime-fighting proposal. “What we are going to do in Baltimore City is make Baltimore City Community College free.”
Mayor Pugh estimates the free community college cost at $1.5 million a year when it is put into place next year.
“The College Promise Campaign applauds Mayor Pugh for recognizing the critical need for making education beyond 12th grade an affordable opportunity for Baltimore’s youth,” said Dr. Martha J. Kanter, the Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign. “All over the country, in cities, counties and states, lawmakers and their business, education and philanthropy partners are making a community college or technical education free because they recognize that a high school education is no longer enough to be prepared for the workforce. We praise Mayor Pugh for making free college an opportunity for Baltimore’s recent high school graduates and understanding that providing students with an affordable path to a career is an effective crime reduction strategy.”
The College Promise movement is growing rapidly as more programs are being proposed, implemented, and expanded in communities all across the country. More than 200 programs in 40 states are now in place, including recently launched programs in major cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and Providence. Eleven states have enacted College Promise legislation or executive actions for their residents, recognizing further education as a return on investment.
The College Promise Campaign is a nonpartisan, nonprofit higher education initiative that builds widespread support for funding the first two years of a community college education for all hardworking students. Chaired by Dr. Jill Biden and former Governor Jim Geringer (R-WY), the Campaign works to build broad public support that community college education is an investment in America’s future and a necessary continuation of K-12 education. In the 21st century, a high school diploma is no longer enough to lead Americans to a good job and decent quality of life. CPC is an initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Learn more about the College Promise and the Campaign at CollegePromise.org.