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Budget picture improves, but still in recovery

Posted on: Sep 15, 2014 1:00:00 AM
In: District
Governing Board
Contact: Della Elliott (619) 644-7690 della.elliott@gcccd.edu

The $134 million general fund budget approved Tuesday for 2014-15 by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board represents a boost over last year, but it is still nearly $1.35 million below what was funded for students for the peak year of 2008.

With state funding still reduced from pre-recession levels and the operational costs climbing, officials are cautious in their appraisal of district finances. They point to the end in 2016 of benefits from Proposition 30, the voter-approved tax plan from 2012 that temporarily fortified education and allowed Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges to offer more class sections and increase student enrollment.

 “Although we continue to face budget challenges, the resiliency and creativity of faculty and staff allows us to still do a great job serving students at our colleges,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

While the district is still in recovery mode from the recession, which translated into four years of cuts totaling $16 million, the budget approved by the board also includes some high points:

  • A 3.4 percent increase in funding totaling $2.8 million the state has allocated toward rebuilding enrollment.
  • A cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, of $750,000 – although the district’s fixed costs have risen by about $2 million a year.
  • $1.8 million in added funding for student success and support programs.
  • $1 million in student equity funding to help at-risk students succeed
  • About $2 million for programs and services to disabled students.
  • One-time funding of nearly $1.2 million for scheduled maintenance and special repairs.
  • Also nearly $1.2 million in one-time funding for instructional support, which includes equipment and furniture in the classrooms and laboratories, library materials and instructional information technology equipment.

The improved budget picture since 2012 has begun to have “measurably positive effects,” Governing Board President Bill Garrett said, pointing to the winter intersession classes for the past two years and expanded summer session offerings.

“The budget challenges we face with the ending of Prop. 30 revenue and a hefty hit for state pension obligations are certainly key concerns we will be looking at, but we are hopeful that California will stay the course on its road to recovery and we will be able to continue the excellent work we are committed to do to ensure the future success of our students,” Garrett said.

For more information about Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, go to www.gcccd.edu .

 

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