Sharing is caring. Between sister schools, it is also sometimes necessary.
On March 19, the Board of Trustees approved a new budget allocation model for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. This new model includes changes for both schools and the District Office, including major changes in funding processes and equitability.
These changes are hoped to help stabilize the sister schools and their surrounding district until funding from the state increases, which will take time.
“It’ll help get us back, but until the funding from the state gets back to where it was, we’re not going to be anywhere near,” Bob D’Elena, LPC Academic Senate representative for the District Budget Study Group (DBSG), said. “Everybody’s been cut. Getting back to the old levels is going to take awhile.”
Prior to the new model, the district ran under a budget allocation model that was approved in 1996. This model included a feature called “off the top,” in which faculty salaries and benefits could be removed from the funding provided by the state before the remainder of the funding was used.
“If you hire more faculty, you get it funded. Chabot understood that, I don’t think we did. They were hiring when we were cutting,” D’Elena said.
Another feature of the old model that seemed to be causing issues dealt with percentage cuts.
“It also seemed that the District Office, which also gets funded from the model, was taking a smaller percentage cut when Chabot and LPC were being cut as the state allocation of revenue was being cut,” D’Elena said. “I think everybody recognized that the old model worked not well and it needed to change.”
Because of these issues and the inequitable sharing that seemed to be going on in the district, the DBSG began having discussions about changing the model being used. Real work on constructing a new model, however, did not begin until Interim Chancellor Judy Walters came into office last August and brought in Mike Hill.
“(Mike Hill is) renowned for his work with other districts on building allocation models and making them work. He’s been working with us all this time,” D’Elena said. “We finally have agreed on the last DBSG meeting last Friday to a new allocation model that we will keep in place for three years, and over the next three years, we will evaluate how it works and if it doesn’t work, we’ll make changes.”
First, the new model changes the “off the top” feature. Now the individual schools will be able to fund faculty based off of the numbers of Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES) at each school, which will be determined by the District Enrollment Management Committee (DEMC). Any funding that comes off the top will be for district-wide expenses, such as contractual and regulatory obligations.
Additionally, the split of funding between Chabot and LPC will be more equitable. Because Chabot is a bigger school, it will receive the larger end of funds from the state based off of FTES. It will receive 58.92 percent of the funds, and LPC will receive the remaining 41.08 percent.
The District Office and Maintenance and Operations (M&O) budget costs will also be regulated more carefully with the new model.
“When the rest of us take a hit, they get a hit. When the rest of us grow, they can grow,” D’Elena said.
While nobody is funded at the same levels that they were funded five years ago, the new budget allocation model is hoped to help bring the district back up to that level. Over the next three years, the new model will be used and evaluated to determine its success and efficiency.
Sharing is caring. Hopefully in this case, it is also beneficial for both parties.