More money for California community colleges1 min read

Annette Shussett

California community colleges will receive a budget increase of $600 million for the 2000-2001 fiscal year, bringing the community college budget to over $6 billion. According to Mike Brandy, vice president of Finance and College Services at De Anza College, this represents an increase in state funding of almost $200 per student.

The state Assembly approved the new California State budget on June 15, 2000. Each year the state uses a formula combining enrollment numbers and the cost of living increase, which they have ordinarily awarded to the community college fund. However, Brandy said that this year the assembly voted an increase in the budget of 4.17 percent, which is 1 percent more than the rate of increase in the cost of living, according to the consumer price index.

Other funding increases came from the Partnership For Excellence program, which is a program that was originated by the state Chancellor’s Office to increase desired community college outcomes such as larger numbers of students transferring to four year colleges, improved access to education for the physically challenged and other performance based goals. The Partnership For Excellence program expanded its contribution to $155 million this year.

In addition to these sources of money, the state awards community colleges a Block Grant between $500,000 and $1 million. This one time allotment comes out of the state budget surplus and is earmarked for instructional equipment.

The De Anza/Foothill Community College District will receive approximately $4 million combined from all of these allotments. The College Council, an elected body consisting of students, faculty and other college staff, will meet in December to decide exactly how to allocate the new funds.

According to the Aug. 30 issue of The Advocate, President of the state Board of Governors Rosemary Thakar said, “This funding will…move our funding per student closer to the national average.”