Campus Braces for $4.6 Million More in Budget Cuts

Rebecca Krueger, Staff Writer

Facing a possible $4.6-million budget cut, in addition to the current $4.5 million deficit, the Glendale Community College board of trustees prepared the 2012-13 budget consideringthe possibility that Proposition 30 will not pass in November.

On Sept. 10 at the board of trustees meeting the 2012-13 budget was finalized.

“The budget is based on underfunding from the state,” said board member Anita Quinonez Gabrielian.

Accommodations made for the possible failure of Proposition 30 include a cut of 500 classes, equivalent to a third of classes currently offered for Spring 2013. Other drastic adjustments include eliminating 2013 summer semester, 15 to 16 layoffs of full-time employees, a teacher pay cut of between a 3.33 to 8.33 percent, as well as administrative pay cut of 5 percent, said Ron Nakasone, Vice President of Administrative Services.

The reduction of classes, the cancellation of summer 2013 and the 15 to 16 full-time layoffs can be done without agreement with the Guild, but other adjustments are still under negotiation, according to Nakasone.

According to the college’s headcount as of Sept. 10, the rate of filled classes are at 96 percent for this semester. The administration estimates an increase of 10 percent for Spring of 2013 as well as an estimated 5,000 students to be waitlisted.

Gabrielian’s concern is for the lack of classes available to students, especially if there are 500 more classes cut. It was already difficult for students to get classes this semester, it goes without saying that some students will not get the classes they need if a third of the classes are cut.

Proposition 30 offers temporary tax revenues to public schools, including community colleges.

“There is something in it for everyone,” said Gabrielian at the Board of Trustees meeting.

“Vote no on Proposition 38,” agreed members of the Board of Trustees. Proposition 38 is a similar tax initiative to that of Proposition 30, the difference being that community colleges do not receive funding under Proposition 38.

“This is discriminatory to community colleges and the very essence of our educational system,” said board member Anthony Tartaglia. “What happens to the students affected by Proposition 38 after they graduate?”

If Proposition 30 passes the board hopes to bring back the 95 classes cut from last semester along with eliminating pay cuts, said Nakasone. Community colleges would receive more funds from the state in order to provide students with the classes, teachers and equipment needed for a better education.

The Board of Trustees held a public hearing on Aug. 27 that came to the same conclusion of Sept. 10’s meeting. Continuing to sustain an approximate $4.5 million deficit, the board of trustees stated in their agenda for the Sept. 10 meeting, “Negotiations are continuing with both CSEA (California School Employees Association) and the Guild for salary and benefit concessions to balance this remaining deficit.”

The battle of balancing the budget is an ongoing endeavor that GCC employees and board members face everyday in hopes of lowering the campus deficit. The board is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst while waiting for the outcome of the new tax initiative in November.