The Fight for Education

A considerable portion of California Community College (CCC) districts are estimated to lose millions of dollars if anything resembling Governor Brown’s proposed 2018-2019 budget is adopted.

Simulations provided by the California Department of Finance based on the formulas provided by the January 10 release showed that some CCC districts “for the most part, the wealthiest ones, will be the ones receiving more funding. This seems to imply some intent,” said Chabot Vice President Matt Kritscher at the May 3 session of the Community College Budget Forums held on campus.

Chabot President Dr. Susan Sperling proposed a question for consideration to those in attendance. “Under the consequences of this new model will Chabot still be able to serve those students who do not fit into it?”

“There are 34 districts that would receive additional funding under this model and 38 districts that would lose significant amounts of funding,” said VP Ronald Gerhard at the April 26 session of the Community College Budget Forum.

“We’re primarily funded based upon Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES),” said VP Gerhard during the April 26 session.

Gerhard added, “the existing model is almost entirely determined by attendance, by Full-Time Equivalent Students. The proposed model cuts that to 50 percent.”

The January 10 proposal being 50 percent FTES, 25 percent student financial need, and 25 percent success factors.

Under the January 10 proposal, “we are projected to lose nearly $8 million. Other data suggests around a $10 million loss,” said Gerhard as he explained the documentation provided throughout the series of budget forums.

Under Formula Framework, the May 11 revise proposes a “distribution of 60 percent as a base funding allocation, 20 percent as a supplemental funding allocation, and 20 percent as a student success incentive funding allocation.”                    

Chabot professor, and former State Senator, Ellen Corbett posed these questions, “How is a student impacted by this every day on campus? How does this make their lives better? Does it?”    

“If passed in a form anything like the January 10 proposal, it will have significant negative impacts on our funding,” said Dr. Sperling at the May 3 session.

Chabot students and everyone on campus already face the consequences of a “$6 million deficit. Chabot is operating at $1.5 million below our annual budget until the current deficit is resolved,” said Student Life Director Arnold Paguio during an Inter-Club Council meeting.

While creating the 2016 – 2017 budget, it was discovered that Chabot had spent $3 million above what it had received in annual revenue, according to a CLPCCD document entitled Chabot Plan to Rebuild College Ending Fund Balance.

Dr. Sperling left those in attendance at the Budget Forum a couple closing questions. “What we heard during their budget presentation bore no resemblance to anything that we know in our positions here on campus. Why are our voices muted and voices like that of the Lumina Foundation, Gates Foundation, and other think tanks, so loud in those areas, and how do we get the reality of our universe effectively messaged?”

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