CPC reviews state funding towards City College general fund – The Channels

Transparency. That was the focus of the College’s first 2022 Planning Board meeting and the reason physics instructor Art Olguin approached the board in a public comment on February 1.

The CPC reviewed funds from Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget and began a dialogue on budget management.

“There seems to be a question on people’s minds,” Olguin told CPC, an organization that works to advise the presiding superintendent. “Thinking we’re really in dire straits and then hearing we’re not really.”

Olguin said he previously raised his concern about City College’s ambiguous financial situation with the school’s tax committee, expressing confusion about recent layoffs and hirings. He said he asked the committee directly “whether or not the college is in a structural deficit,” but he felt the committee focused on fiscal policies when asking about monetary policies, so he is came to the CPC. Fiscal policies mean how the money will be spent, and monetary policies mean how much money there is to spend.

“I want to thank Art for his question,” said Vice President of Business Services Lindsay Maas. “Why, one year, do we have a big deficit, then the next a surplus? We’re going to do everything we can to explain why we’re feeling this budget boost effect.

Maas was there to present to the CPC the Budget proposed by the Governor, an annual grant for the school’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) and the year’s inflation. The money is placed in the school’s general fund where the board then decides what to do with it – like giving raises or paying bills like maintenance fees or classroom materials.

From now on, City College will receive approximately:

  • $4.5 million in unrestricted funds
  • $5.23 million in restricted funds
  • $4.3 million in deferred maintenance and instructional equipment

Senate Academic Representative Ruth Morales acknowledged Olguin’s point, saying the school was “absolutely in deficit” and a budget conversation needed to begin.

She said if it wasn’t for federal programs like HEERF and the CARE Act, the school would not have been able to cover its lost income.

“To answer Art’s question, no, we shouldn’t back out of this conversation,” Morales said. “I encourage people to attend the audit committee of the board of directors. That’s the conversation that takes place there.

Senate Academic President Raeanne Napoleon wanted to clarify whether the money would go directly to benefit staff members or somewhere else.

“Faculty gets frustrated when COLA comes in and doesn’t come to us,” Napoleon said. “The district can do whatever it wants with COLA?”

Acting President Superintendent Kindred Murillo confirmed that the general fund is for the entire campus. She said City College had “more money in the bank than most schools” and the school was in a “good stable position” financially.

“You’ve been through a tough couple of years and I’m sad that you have nothing,” Murillo said. “I want to make sure we’re doing the right thing and not jeopardizing the college’s financial stability.

The CPC will meet again on Tuesday 15 February.

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