Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

In-state Tuition for BRAC families

Posted by Ed C on Wednesday, January 3, 2007

As reported in the Baltimore Sun:

Defense workers and their families who move to Maryland as part of the realignment of military bases will be allowed to immediately pay in-state tuition at Maryland’s public universities under a change approved by state higher education officials.

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents agreed to grant workers, their spouses and dependent children waivers of the 12-month residency requirement to qualify for the lower tuition rate charged to state residents. It will apply to the state system’s 13 campuses, including the University of Maryland, College Park.

In Nov. the Examiner (via Official BRAC) reported:

“We want to put out the welcome sign,” said Joe Vivona, USM’s chief operating officer and vice chancellor for administration and finance. “We want to demonstrate to the business community that Maryland is a place of quality higher education. With our proximity to Washington, our role in homeland security, national defense, and other high technology industries, education is the foundation in the state’s economy.”

Vivona said each new waiver could impact the first-year tuition costs of possibly 200 incoming students. Tuition at the University of Maryland, College Park for in-state residents is now $8,200, for example, versus $21,000 for out-of-state students. At Towson University, in-state tuition is $7,400 versus $16,500.

University System of Maryland spokesman John Buettner said a precedent for the waivers was set a decade ago when a similar BRAC realignment brought new military employee, to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in St. Mary’s County.

I guess this announcement makes it official. I wonder if this will encourage or delay families from Northern VA moving to the area? On one hand, those families that have children approaching college can now delay moving until right before the student starts at a Maryland school instead of moving 12 months before. On the other, families that were going to stay put because they missed the 12 month window may be rethinking that commute. Overall, probaibly a good thing because they now have more options.

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2 Responses to “In-state Tuition for BRAC families”

  1. For full GAO BRAC report and related links:
    http://www.examiner.com/a-1459560~BRAC_under_sight_threatens_mission.html
    Editorial: BRAC under-sight threatens mission
    The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper
    2008-06-26
    BALTIMORE – If for the past three years a BRAC oversight committee was supposed to be helping communities deal with local impacts of the biggest military move in U.S. history, why are we victims of gross under-sight?

    According to a Government Accountability Office report on the 15-year-old Base Realignment and Closure process, a committee mandated by President Bush to ensure communities are not crushed by Department of Defense moves has not met since November 2006.

    The report says local “planning efforts have been hampered by a lack of consistent and detailed information about anticipated DOD personnel movements. … Communities lack the detailed planning information, such as the growth population demographics, necessary to effectively plan and obtain financing for infrastructure projects.”

    This failure of the secretary of defense to provide “the high-level leadership” under its own directive leaves communities identified as “substantially and seriously impacted” in a bureaucratic limbo that will clog roads, crowd schools, overwhelm utilities, burden housing, increase taxes and negate many of the expected benefits BRAC jobs will bring.

    Worse, the inability of local and state governments nationwide to prepare for the influx of more than 173,000 personnel — and even more family members and contractors — in 20 communities by 2012 could impede the missions of those bases.

    Three of those “high-impact” communities are in Maryland, and already we know that in transportation alone people are going to have trouble getting to work on time no matter what we do now or how much we spend.

    DOD projects growth by 28,000 families in Maryland from expanding Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Meade and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. APG, Fort Meade and Bethesda missions are immediately critical to national security. If their personnel can’t get to work, find housing and educate their children, if they must endure water shortages and brownouts, they’ll go work someplace else for somebody else.

    We need employees with knowledge and skills in demand all over the nation and around the world. Patriotism only goes so far if they must live in communities suffering “infrastructure challenges,” as the GAO euphemism puts it. Based on the GAO report, our local, state and federal servants reflexively demanded more money. OK. Money is necessary.

    But it will be wasted without “a clearinghouse for information sharing which could more effectively match government resources with the needs of DOD-impacted communities.”

    That costs nothing. GAO says, “DOD agreed with our recommendations.” Good. Now turn under-sight into oversight.

  2. http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/opinion/Learn_for_defense_to_make_BRAC_work_in_Maryland.html
    Click for links to other essential BRAC sites

    Learn for defense to make BRAC work in Maryland

    By Baltimore Examiner Newspapers 8/19/08

    Thank our Government Accountability Office for a warning shot of reality last week. GAO projects worker shortfalls when 5,100 jobs move to Aberdeen Proving Ground in three years. Maryland must prove, right now, that won’t happen.
    APG could be short 2,200 employees when the Fort Monmouth, N.J., jobs move here because surveys there indicate about half the employees say they will retire instead of moving. More than half of current employees will be eligible by then.
    The Department of Defense noticed that eight years ago and began trying to prepare. It means Monmouth’s essential, technologically intense national security mission has a big problem no matter where it is.
    Opponents of closing Monmouth seize upon this GAO report and distort it — as they have others.
    But everybody must face BRAC facts. Congress and the president created it to eliminate just such parochial, political and special interest meddling in allocation of our precious resources.
    Consolidating at APG makes sense for a myriad reasons far outweighing the few against. This latest GAO report is a perfect example.
    DOD knew a personnel problem loomed five years before any decision to consolidate at APG. Half these essential employees would be eligible for retirement BRAC or no BRAC. Relocation, at most, is but one small factor.
    Our strategic question — not just in this revealing case but throughout our defense establishment — is whether we can anywhere in America produce personnel with the brains, fundamental knowledge and learning ability requisite to defense.
    Core mission is the same as 50,000 years ago: Bringing effective force to bear over distance. But how we do that now requires more brain than brawn. Surely, the men and women who still must have the strength, courage and will to go kill human beings ultimately remain the cutting edge of our sword. But more and more of the blade backing them is forged from knowledge and intellect.
    That modern alloy is weak and growing weaker. One key indicator: According to a report last year, as of 2005 China produced 9,427 engineering Ph.D.s. We graduated 7,333, but 60 percent of those were foreign nationals.
    Maryland officials claim our education system can fill any Monmouth transfer shortfall. And they opened an office there to counter disinformation about quality of life in our state so more personnel will move.
    But they must act decisively now to ensure from kindergarten through graduate schools we educate the citizens needed to defend us in this vortex of rapidly evolving modern warfare. Then send a message to headquarters in Washington demanding our entire nation fill the breach.
    This latest GAO report reveals a bigger problem than a few thousand Fort Monmouth employees refusing to transfer. It is a warning shot through the weakest spot in our 21st Century defense shield.

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