Erie County is acting as the local sponsor for a community college application now under consideration by the Pennsylvania Board of Education. The board, in evaluating the county’s application for a community college, is consulting closely with the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Below is a timeline of action taken on the proposal, as well as copies of all supporting documents that were submitted to the state with the application.
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Timeline of application
- March 12, 2020: Pennsylvania State Board of Education postpones Erie County community college plan hearing.
- November 14, 2019: The State Board of Education voted to hold an evidentiary hearing in Erie County within six months, following the recommendation of the Special Committee on the Erie County Community College Plan and delaying a vote on Erie County’s application itself.
- November 13, 2019: Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper submitted a letter to members of the State Board of Education, urging them to take action on the Erie County application in their meeting November 14.
- November 13, 2019: The Special Committee on the Erie County Community College Plan presented its recommendation to the State Board of Education. It recommended that an evidentiary hearing, with witnesses, be held. Two of the special committee’s three members support the Erie County application, finding that the application meets the three criteria the committee is legally bound to consider.
- October 29, 2019: Members of the Erie County Community College Committee, including County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, County Councilmen Carl Anderson III and André Horton and community members, made remarks to the Special Committee on the Erie County Community College Plan in Harrisburg.
- October 9, 2019: The Erie County Community College Committee released an action plan to garner community and political support for the county’s application for a community college.
- September 5, 2019: Erie County Council voted to create the Erie County Community College Committee, tasked with advancing progress of the application before the state. The committee consists of two members of Erie County Council (Councilmen Carl Anderson III and André Horton); three members of the County Executive’s administration (County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Director of Administration Gary Lee and Finance Director Jim Sparber); a representative of Empower Erie (Ron DiNicola); and the financial consultant on the college plan, Joseph Maloney. The County Executive signed the resolution on September 9.
- December 21, 2018: Erie County submitted updates to the Erie County Community College Plan, at the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Education
- February 16, 2018: Erie County submitted its responses to the supplemental questions posed by the State Board of Education’s Special Committee on the Erie County Community College Plan.
- October 10, 2017: A public hearing on the plan was held in Erie, at Blasco Library’s Hirt Auditorium. Members of the public were invited to sign up to offer comment on the proposed community college before members of the State Board of Education’s Special Committee.
- September 13, 2017: The State Board of Education’s Special Committee on the Erie County Community College Plan held its first public meeting and requested information from the Governor’s Office about community colleges, as required by Section 1902-A of the Public School Code.
- July 12, 2017: The Pennsylvania Board of Education approved a resolution establishing a special committee to gather information on Erie County’s community college proposal.
- July 3, 2017: The Erie County community college plan and accompanying documents were delivered to the Pennsylvania Board of Education in Harrisburg, to be placed on the Board’s agenda for the July 12, 2017, meeting.
- June 30, 2017: The Office of the County Executive gathered necessary documentation for the Erie County community college application and sent the application to the Pennsylvania Board of Education, the first step in a lengthy process required for state approval.
- June 27, 2017: Erie County Council voted 4-2, with one abstention, for Erie County to act as a local sponsor to the proposed community college in Erie County. County Council’s resolution was forwarded to the County Executive for her signature.