Saving summer money for rainy day
Writer: Scott Richardson
May 10, 2006
Filed under Uncategorized
As student enrollment continues to decline statewide, California Community Colleges are forced to turn to alternatives to meet funding needs.
But the alternatives formerly in place are undergoing changes.
City College receives 85 percent of its funding based on the number of full-time equivalent students, or FTES, according to a college report.
The report was compiled and presented by Dr. Jack Friedlander, vice president of Educational Programs and Dr. Andreea Serban, associate vice president of Information Technology, at a Board of Trustees meeting in February.
A decrease in enrollment forces many community colleges to turn to alternatives like boosting FTES numbers in summer sessions and Continuing Education Programs to make up for the discrepancy.
Friedlander said City College is one of few community colleges that will meet its growth targets this year, and will not have to use the FTES numbers from summer sessions.
He added that the option is available.
“I am anticipating we will need it in the future,” he said.
The college can only use the FTES numbers from a summer session to help for one year.
“You can only go to the well once,” he said.
He added that part of the reason for adding a second summer session to the school calendar is to allow the college the option to turn to the summer sessions for FTES funding without having to choose between which year they will apply those numbers.
“It would enable the college to meet future enrollment growth,” Friedlander said.
However, the college has not approved two summer sessions. If the sessions are approved, they could not begin until Fall 2008 at the earliest, Friedlander said.
Another benefit for City College is its Continuing Education Program, which adds to the college’s number of FTES, according to college officials.
However, not all community colleges in the state have a Continuing Education Program.
In 2003, the state changed the way community college funding formulas work in an effort to “equalize” funding statewide, according to the state legislative analyst’s office for the 2006-2007 budget.
Funding is now based on the number of FTES for each district. The amount of money each college receives is based on a formula still being determined.
The board met in March to discuss the equalization funding formula, including different ways of defining and implementing the equalization funding.
Superintendent-President John Romo said there had been a lot of internal debate on the issue, but a compromise was achieved with the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges during an April meeting.
The deal will be brought before the California legislature for approval.