csm
FILE PHOTO: Ktitsworth (2014)

LA PLATA, Md. – After learning about Senate Bill 136, the Charles County Commissioners followed the St. Mary County Commissioners’ decision, by unanimously voting to send a letter of opposition to the Maryland General Assembly last week. 

For those who do not know, Senate Bill 136 establishes the Charles County Community College and the Board of Community College Trustees for Charles County by transitioning the College of Southern Maryland Charles County campus to the Charles County Community College.

As a result, this will remove Charles County from getting certain resources under the law for the 2023-2024 academic year, which also changes the number of members of the Board of Trustees for the College of Southern Maryland.

“We do not support dismantling the College of Southern Maryland for several reasons. CSM mirrors Southern Maryland’s identity and we strive always to prepare our students for this region’s workforce, and to help them have a better quality of life,” college spokesperson Angela Walters Small wrote in response to a request for comment. “We don’t see county boundaries when it comes to our transformative work or our commitment to helping students achieve their goals.”

In addition to splitting the counties, many take issue with this bill because the camaraderie between the counties creates many jobs for Southern Maryland. Also, this bill will limit the options students have to get one of these jobs, according to CSM.

“Each year, the economic contribution of the College of Southern Maryland supports over 4,200 jobs. That translates into earnings that impact 1 in every 39 people who work in Southern Maryland. CSM adds more than $250 million in added income to our region each year, and more than $196 million of that comes from our alumni,” Smalls said. “Having separate colleges would limit our students’ opportunities; create unneeded chaos for our most vulnerable students who are already struggling in this pandemic; be fiscally irresponsible—resulting in financial burdens that would transfer to our students and every taxpayer.”

However, Senator Ellis says his constituents believe this bill will bring resources back to Charles County. Their side believes that being lumped in with the rest of Southern Maryland causes Charles County to lose resources. 

There were five main reasons which include: CSM shutting down Charles County’s aquatic program, a Charles County child care facility, ending many STEM programs in Charles County, shortening the length of important classes, and nursing students suing CSM for racial discrimination.

“So many constituents come to me and say all these problems, and colleges are not listening to us. Students, professors, and parents see that a lot of things are being taken away from Charles County or moved out of Charles County,” Senator Arthur Ellis said. “We are the largest county in Southern Maryland, and we are losing all these things as we grow.”

Based on their point of view, the only solution is for Charles County to retain its offerings. If they create a school for their county, Charles County citizens could hold the school accountable, which allows them to cater to the community’s needs. Also, the government resources that were gained through CSM will be transferred to the standalone campus, according to Senator Ellis.

As for the Charles County Commissioner’s board, Ellis and his constituents believe their motives are underhanded and should be questioned. 

“They represent Charles County, but so do I. I was elected by 90% of the county to speak on these issues and to make sure that my constituents at the state level are properly treated,” Ellis said. “The commissioners can determine who they are serving. Are they serving the constituents who put them there or special interests?”

Although the methods and opinions differ, all parties agree that education in Charles County is crucial.

“All of our citizens will benefit from a strong educational presence in Charles County,” Ellis said.

Contact our news desk at news@thebaynet.com

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25 Comments

  1. Sen Ellis’ comment ..” I was elected by 90% of the county”
    I wonder where Ellis got his accounting degree from .Donald Trump school of statistical manipulation ?
    I checked the voting stats ,,
    Ellis votes total …………. 8309……. 52 % of the vote
    Middleton votes total…… 7663……. 48% of the vote

  2. I do not agree with the bill proposed by Sen Ellyse s. There is strength in numbers and CSM should stay as it is. Ellis should work with Calvert and St. Mary’s to find funds to support CSM and not tear it apart.

    1. If there is Strength in Numbers, why is Charles County losing so many programs to St. Mary’s and Calvert County. Charles County is the largest and wealthiest of the three and yet we hav the least. But I guess that’s fine with you.

      1. Is this our only option? How many students are affected by these changes? Will the new school still be accredited and have a relationship with U of M? I understand wanting to retain desired programs, but breaking up the school makes me think students will lose out on resources and opportunities from the current school. Where can I view data on this issue that affects my daughter’s future with this school?

        1. Of course the school will be accredited. Have you heard of Prince George’s Community College, Montgomery County Community College, Howard County Community College, Anne Arundel Community College etc…

          1. I think he was asking about the relationship CSM has with U MD that allows students to matriculate into a four year university. It took a lot of work for these relationships to be worked out and what Ellis is proposing may be detrimental to these programs.

  3. Another politician with Facts be Damned Exaggeration Syndrome. Sen Ellis represents part of Charles County, District 28. In 2018 he won with 66.2% or apx 38,000 votes for District 28 NOT 90%. Charles County is also represented by the Senator from District 27. Charles County has approximately 160,000 residents, so his 38,000 votes don’t come close to the apx 80,000 voters in his district.

    The Main Campus for CSM is LaPlata. Is the proposed CCCC simply going to take over that operation? Huge disservice to CSM and a huge disservice to the Tax Payers of MD and the residents of the Tri County! Additionally, the justification is flimsy at best. CSM will get his constituents more recognition and opportunities than CCCC could in the next 20 years if ever.

    1. Senator Ellis had two elections in 2019. In the General Election he won by 90%. All you need to say is that he WON and He is Senator working for hard Charles County.

      1. Why focus on the percentages? Because you’re spouting them and it turns out they aren’t true. Sort of like you’re spouting facts about the college that aren’t true, either. Starting a college over from scratch? How does that make sense?

      2. Senator Ellis focused on percentages when he lied/exaggerated about 90%. He didn’t have to include percentages.

    1. If there is Strength in Numbers, why is Charles County losing so many programs to St. Mary’s and Calvert County. Charles County is the largest and wealthiest of the three and yet we hav the least. But I guess that’s fine with you.

  4. I’d like to see the vote count on each bill proposal. It’s a real easy thing to do. Vote yes no easy. This way citizens can see what party is for or against things in this county or state. Maybe then things will change once it’s ready for many to see who’s representing them or not. Calvert co did this and look at it now. Prospering because the truth finally got to they’re citizen’s

  5. Official 2018 election results show 52 % voted for Sen. Ellis in the primary and 66.2% voted for him in the general election. A majority, yes, but not even advanced math can make this become 90%. Apparently, truthfulness is not a prerequisite for the Senator. Taking lessons from DJT? Charles County’s version of the big lie.

  6. I’ve been reading all these comments and I have to say that Rosalind Ellis comments to everyone that commented on here come off as well kinda mean and one sided. Also she hasn’t answered anyone’s questions. I’m no mathematician but winning by 90% seems off to me. I think the funnest comment she made was “Why focus on percentages he won!” Well we are all focusing on these percentages because you told us this was the percentage. smh

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