Erie County Community College Approved by 9 to 6 Vote
This Thursday, the Pennsylvania Board of Education voted in favor of Erie's plan for affordable education
In a 9-6 vote, the Pennsylvania Board of Education has approved the Erie County Community College plan, originally submitted three years ago. This decision came at the end of a two-day virtual evidentiary hearing filled with testimonies from witnesses on behalf of Erie County, Empower Erie, the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, and Republican Sen. Joseph Scarnati III of Pennsylvania's 25th District.
After hearing these testimonies, questioning witnesses, and much deliberation, State Board members voted in favor of Erie County's community college application.
"This is a great day for Erie County," County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said in a press release. "After years of dedicated time and research and Erie County's development of important partnerships with community leaders and educators, this is the outcome we've been longing for."
"Any time and effort is never wasted on education," Dahlkemper continued. "The community college will provide the tools our students need to be successful. We will soon see that this investment will be a turning point for Erie County."
According to Empower Erie, an organization focused on establishing a community college to improve the educational system, attract jobs, and create opportunities for Erie residents, this is the first community college to be approved in more than 25 years in the state of Pennsylvania.
"This represents a long-awaited victory for all the residents of Erie County to have access to affordable education that will enrich their lives and improve their opportunity to establish and advance their careers," Empower Erie wrote in a statement."
Following the approval, will be the creation of a board of trustees who will make all future decisions regarding choices such as identifying a designated location for the bricks-and-mortar facility, finalizing the curricula, hiring staff, and more for Erie County Community College.
To learn more information, including a full timeline of the application, visit eriecountypa.gov.