California Community Colleges are finally out of the red and into the black when it comes to the state budget.
The 2013-2014 Budget Plan proposal has been released to Las Positas College, pointing out several important changes to last year’s budget such as no increase in student fees. The details have yet to be solidified, as more discussion regarding the plan will be held in upcoming months.
“The governor is to be commended for his tireless advocacy to advocate for Proposition 30 and for presenting a bold budget proposal that upholds the commitments he (and we) made to the voters in talking about the measure,” Scott Lay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community College League of California, said in an email on Jan. 10 to LPC Academic Senate President Sarah Thompson.
One of the major components of the proposed budget plan is no change in student fees, meaning that students will continue to pay $46 per unit. Additionally, $179 million will be apportioned to California community colleges for deferral buydown, which in turn reduces the borrowing needs for CCC districts. According to Thompson, this means that colleges will receive a portion of their allocated funds at the beginning of the semester, rather than having to borrow and consequently receive the funds at the end.
The general fund will be increased by $133.2 million to offset redevelopment revenues that may not be generated in the 2012-2013 academic year. Another $16.9 million will be provided to CCC schools to increase access to matriculated students through the use of technology.
Other major components of the proposed plan include changing the census-based apportionment system, which will provide a larger apportionment amount to students that remain enrolled at the end of the semester or quarter, and limiting state-supported instruction in California community colleges to 90 units. Beyond this point, students will be permitted to take more units but at full cost.
The details are not yet set in stone, but with the proposed plan and additional funds from Proposition 30 come new opportunities for LPC students and students all over the state.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to California’s voters for their approval of Proposition 30,” Lay said in his email, “and the seven years of more stable funding that it provides.”