College Fighting for its Share of State Budget

El Vaquero Assitant Editor

Glendale Community College is seeking to negotiate with K-12 school districts and the state legislature to receive its fair share of funds allocated through Proposition 98. Patrick McCallum, Legislative Advocate to GCC, reported to the board of trustees at its Monday meeting.

McCallum gave the special presentation regarding the legislative update to the board, explaining his proposal to negotiate with the K-12 system in getting the full 10 percent of funds that community colleges are entitled to. Of the tax revenues allocated to K-12 schools and community colleges, the proposition guarantees 90 percent to K-12 institutions and 10 percent to community colleges. But recent years have left California community colleges with less than their share of 10 percent.

In short, the 1996 proposition protects K-12 and community college education from cuts that have been implemented on other state-supported programs, while also ensuring that these public education systems would receive a big percentage of increased state revenue. Community colleges have been left short-changed of their 10 percent while K-12 schools have been receiving slightly more than their 90 percent allocation.

McCallum expressed specific concern for the three areas in which GCC would be affected with the proposition. Equalization, growth and the non-credit system are the biggest concerns, McCallum said.

Equalization deals with getting the same amount of money per students as other campuses. “L.A. gets $200 more per student and Pasadena gets $50 more per student than Glendale,” said McCallum.

Growth is concerned with the amount of students that are being turned away at GCC because of lack of funding. “Last year, we turned away 175,000 students,” McCallum said of the statewide community college system.

The non-credit system is suffering from a lack of funding for those courses students do not receive credit for. Since these classes are primarily and often taken by older students whose educational goal is not the traditional one of earning a degree, these courses often get cut and are under-funded.

“Our [state’s] non-credit system is the lowest funded educational system in the country,” McCallum said.

He also said that although the fee increase for units at GCC could not be avoided, it is hopeful that they can possibly lower the increase from $26 per unit, to perhaps $22 to $24.

He also asked the board for its support in the bill SB 1875, which would implement the governor’s equalization proposal. This would take $4 million in funding from the non-credit system and reapportion it to the growth and equalization branches. This would leave GCC with $130,000 more in funding.

But throughout McCallum’s 15-minute presentation, his point was clear, “We need to increase our share of Proposition 98,” he said.
All fees for GCC excluding the unit-fee increase were approved and will remain the same with the exception of the health fee. It will be increased by $1, for a total of $13 per semester in the fall and spring, and $10 per semester in the winter and summer. All of the funds generated from the health fee can only be used to support the Health Center.

The board also elected its new officers for the next year. Victor E. King was elected the new president, replacing Dr. Armine Hacopian; Anita Quinonez Gabrielian was elected the new vice president, replacing King; and Dr. Kathleen Burke-Kelly is the new clerk, replacing Gabrielian.

Five new courses were also approved to be adopted as official college course offerings. Computer Science/Information Systems 197, Computer Applications and Business Office Technologies 286, Engineering 111, Hotel Restaurant Management 230, and Physical Education 107 were all approved by the board.

The board meets the third Monday of every month on campus in Kreider Hall at 5 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for May 17.