SAN DIEGO–At its June 7 meeting, the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) Board of Trustees adopted its required Tentative Budget for 2012-13. The $764,245,076 spending plan includes an operating budget of $287 Million, $346 Million in expenditures for the district’s continuing bond construction projects, and $131 Million in federal and state financial aid and grant funds.
“We are pleased to present a balanced budget,” said Executive Vice Chancellor Bonnie Dowd, “although the state’s revenue projections are still uncertain. Whatever the outcome, we will be able to manage our fiscal operations in a stable manner.”
While the community college district has had to reduce its operational budgets by over $33 million in the past several years, state revenue has continued to decline, causing continuing cuts for all community colleges, universities, and social services. The state has also compelled community colleges to reduce student enrollment, causing the SDCCD to cut over 2,000 classes at City, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and the six campuses of Continuing Education. Even with these reductions, the district has continued to support classes for students above the level for which the state will provide compensation. “We have a commitment to serve as many students as we can,” said Trustee Rich Grosch, “in order to benefit the local economy.”
One hallmark of the SDCCD is its sound financial position despite the instability of the state’s fiscal situation. District Chancellor Constance Carroll thanked the Board for its support of the district’s successful financial planning. According to Carroll, three reasons account for the district’s financial health. “We have not increased any salary costs for four years. We have avoided layoffs or furloughs of permanent faculty and staff. And, we have maintained strong reserves.”
The SDCCD Tentative Budget is based upon the Governor’s budget proposal, which includes revenue from the tax measures he has proposed for voter consideration on the November ballot. The community college district will benefit by $10.9 million in new funds if the ballot measure is successful and will lose $10.5 million if it is not. “If the tax measures pass,” said Carroll, “our budget will continue as planned. If the tax measures fail, we have also accounted for that eventuality. The San Diego Community College District is prepared for the full range of possibilities.”