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Governing Board approves record budget; more funding to serve students

Posted on: Sep 11, 2015 1:00:00 AM
In: Grossmont, District, Cuyamaca
Governing Board
Contact: Della Elliott 619-644-7690 della.elliott@gcccd.edu

The $244 million budget approved Tuesday for 2015-16 by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board is the largest in the district’s history, with additional state funding that allows the two East County colleges to fill vacant positions, offer almost 2,300 classes, and provide more support for students on their path to graduation.

The budget includes $120.7 million in general operating funds to support the education of its more than 27,000 students. It also includes more than $80 million for construction projects, as work progresses on buildings and infrastructure improvements funded by 2012’s Proposition V bond measure.

With state funding back at pre-recession levels and funding increases for programs geared toward student success and support, the board is heralding the budget as the best in years. As one of the largest employers in East County, added funding will allow for filling 87 positions, including the addition of 15 new faculty – 10 for Grossmont College and five for Cuyamaca College.

“The budget approved today is a vast improvement over the dark days of the recession when we were forced to cut classes and access to higher education to thousands of our students,” said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles. “Although we still face budget challenges, our district is poised for a more positive funding outlook. As always, I have every confidence in the creativity and resourcefulness of our faculty, administrators and staff to continue to do the wonderful work they do serving students.”

Several highlights of the 2015-16 budget include

  • A base increase of $4.3 million provided by the state in recognition of increased operating expenses
  • More than $4 million to fund student success and support programs, and student equity programs to help at-risk students succeed.
  • Up to $6.9 million allocated toward rebuilding and growing enrollment.
  • A $4 million increase in federal and state funds for special programs.

Despite increased allocations from the state, the district remains cautious in its budget planning, with expected hikes in utilities and health benefits costs. The district’s contributions to state retirement funds are also expected to increase by more than $5 million over the next five years. Also looming is the 2016 sunsetting of Proposition 30 revenues from a 2012 voter-approved temporary sales and income tax increase to benefit education.

Governing Board President Bill Garrett noted that increased funding since 2012 has had the positive effect of offering more educational access, pointing to winter intersession classes offered for the past two years and expanded summer sessions.

“The imminent end of Prop. 30 revenue and hefty increases in state retirement obligations are certainly major concerns, but we hope that state revenues continue to be healthy 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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