The Budget & Resource Allocation Committee met last Thursday to discuss some of the much needed help the Governor’s proposed budget for 2014-2015 would provide PCC and the challenges the budget still faces.
Robert Miller, Co-Chair of the committee, updated the members on the status of the Supplemental Employee Retirement Plan (SERP) agreement.
Nineteen people have taken advantage of the agreement that allows faculty to separate from the Public Agency Retirement Services’ supplemental retirement plan, reported Miller.
Though the deadline to take part in the agreement has closed, negotiations with the PCC Faculty Association are in place, possibly allowing more members to participate.
“The purpose of the SERP is not just to save money, but it’s also to provide more organization the opportunity to rethink the way certain business practices are enacted…,” Miller said.
“It also provides the opportunity to bring in people of all ages with different perspectives and different viewpoints on how to get A to Z done.”
Members also discussed the under-funded Workers Compensation Self-Insurance fund and how the school predicts how many worker’s compensation claims they might have to pay for.
PCC pays out between $700,000 and $1,000,000,000 in worker’s compensation annually, according Miller.
However, the school’s worker’s compensation is severely underfunded as the school has set aside less than $280,000 while that number should be closer to $3,000,000, stated Miller.
“We are going to have to be contributing in a more significant way,” Miller said.
The focus of the meeting eventually shifted to the Governor’s budget proposal and its’s focus on providing funds to schools with programs that focus on higher completion rates for students receiving their degrees and transferring.
The Governor pledges to provide $155.2 million to California Community Colleges to fund a 3% restoration of access, according to the proposal.
PCC would receive 1.9 percent of that money and an estimated $875,000 from cost of living adjustments that would be used to add more students.
However, the proposal states that funding would be given to districts, “ identified as having the greatest unmet need in adequately serving their community’s higher educational needs.”
“What it likely means is…completion,” clarified Miller.
The budget proposal would also provide $87.5 million money for instructional needs, which the school has not seen in years and needed greatly. PCC’s share could be as much as $1.65 million of the $87.5 million from the state for instructional needs should the school match what is given by the budget.
While there are already plans for how the money is to be used, faculty member Julie
Kiotas was surprised that faculty was not consulted on the matter.
“I would think that the faculty would be the one’s who would be asked about instructional needs.”
The school also stands to receive $11.9 million in deferrals, or money that has been deferred by the state from previous years. This amount is a one time cash payment that could potentially be used to fund such areas as the under funded worker’s compensation self-insurance fund, instructional equipment or Other Post-Employment Benefit (OPEB).
In attempts to receive more funding for full time student equivalents, the administration has been working to provide more students with more classes. As a result of Proposition 30, school districts are expected to get at least $100 per full time equivalent student from the Education Protection Account. To have more full time students, PCC has implanted a block schedule, weekend classes beginning February 8th and an online program starting in March 17th.
“We are aggressively chasing every FTES we can find,” said Miller.
The next meeting had to be rescheduled as Miller had another obligation and will no longer be on the 27th.