We are coming up on almost two years since the COVID-19 shutdown that forced Las Positas College and the rest of schools around the world to shut down in person classes and shift to online learning. The Financial standing of LPC is something to keep an eye on as we begin the steady shift back to in person classes.
LPC has lost a significant amount of money as the pandemic has carried on over the past couple years. This is mainly due to the lack of in person students and staff which naturally bring in revenue to the school in various ways while on campus.
A steady decline in enrollment has occurred and current Vice President of Administrative Services Anette Raichbart weighed in on how it is unfolding. “We have seen a decline in enrollment over the last two years, so last year we saw a decline of about 10% from the previous year, and this year we have seen an additional 10%, for a total of 20% of declining enrollment.”
The overall outcome of enrollment rates declining may turn out costly but there is hope. “If our enrollment continues to decline and all of our students do not choose to come to school here or maybe choose to not go to school at all, that is really what we are seeing because not only is the pattern of enrollment declining at our school but we see it statewide as well as nationwide. If we don’t see those numbers pick up then we will need to look at reducing the amount of potential staff down the road but we are not seeing that as of yet, right now we are going through the aftermath of a pandemic and we can not make those decisions during this time because it is different.”
Despite the potential of these consequences there was a clear message delivered that no one is being laid off and students are expected to return throughout the next year. Part of the hope that is instilled is due to the Hold Harmless State which allows the school to continue to receive funding by the state based on the 2017-18 enrollment. “We are very fortunate to be under a Hold Harmless State in which we will remain in until 2024-25 at which point the student center funding formula will take place which is directly tied to our enrollment.”
The school has lost a total of about $4 million of the total budget. Despite this loss there is a strong sense of hope for the upcoming years.
Josh Jones is a writer for The Express. Follow him @Jones_Josh5