Gov. Davis Partially Restores College Budget

Michael J. Arvizu
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill Oct. 14 restoring a third of the funds he had cut from the community college budget this summer. Of the $98 million slashed from the colleges’ budget, $32 million has been restored.

Out of the restored funding, $17 million will be used for scheduled maintenance, including the upkeep of campuses. Fifteen million dollars will go towards instructional equipment such as chalkboards, televisions, and projectors, among others. In addition to these funds, the governor also provided for $14.9 million for 34 capital outlay projects in the planning stages.
The GCC allied health building is one of those projects, and the campus will receive $340,000 to proceed on the plan.

The outcome of the budget was disappointing, but, “at this point, it’s better than nothing,” said GCC controller Ron Nakasone. “We would of liked to have had the full $98 million come back.” Nakasone added that efforts will be made next year to have funds fully restored for Glendale College.

In the meantime, GCC will receive $160,000 to $170,000 for instructional equipment, which is at least $500,000 less than what the college had hoped for. Part of these funds will be allocated to the library.

Funds for the scheduled maintenance of GCC and other campuses throughout the state are being prioritized. This means that certain projects will have to take a backseat to other projects that are more crucial to the safety of a campus, such as seismic maintenance, fire safety, and lighting.
“We are proportionally reducing the funds across the state for all of the districts so that nobody will come up short of any funds,” said Jim Rogaski with the California Community College Chancellor’s office in Sacramento.

“They had a whole laundry list of projects that got approved throughout the state,” said Nakasone. “They are going to have to go back and prioritize all of the projects that had original funding. ” It will take time to figure out exactly how these projects are going to be funded, given that the bill is fresh off the governor’s desk.