LTCC loses $400,000 from state monies | TahoeDailyTribune.com

LTCC loses $400,000 from state monies

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Although not as severe as previously thought, the bill Gov. Gray Davis signed for $161 million in midyear cuts to the California Community College system had some surprises.

The most surprising was a decrease of $71.1 million in general revenue obtained from property taxes. Lake Tahoe Community College President Guy Lease estimates the small campus will take a hit of about $400,000 to its $10 million general fund.

“While this is better than the governor proposed, the property tax fall is worse than expected,” Lease said.

In a list of 10 areas cut, half will impact LTCC this year. Exact figures stating the precise impacts for the 108 California community colleges will not be known until the understaffed chancellor’s office is able to determine and release the numbers, Lease said.

Besides the expected loss of $400,000 in property taxes, other midyear cuts for LTCC are estimated to be:

n $45,000 — scheduled maintenance;

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n $25,000 — telecommunications and technology;

n $75,000 — instructional equipment and supplies;

n $20,000 — Partnership for Excellence program.

Earlier this month, the LTCC board announced two faculty positions and one academic administration position will be eliminated next year.

It could have been worse, but with careful planning and controlled spending, the college was able to thwart any massive layoffs.

“What we did this year in approach to our midyear cuts is that we controlled our spending, trimmed our budgets and we didn’t replace any resigning or retiring classified staff,” LTCC spokeswoman Christina Proctor said. “But next year is expected to be much worse.”

This round of cuts means the college won’t be able to replace carpet or paint rooms since the total amount of scheduled maintenance funds were cut, Lease said. Computers and additional hardware won’t be replaced because of the telecommunications and technology cut.

In addition, instructional equipment such as overhead projectors can’t be replaced or bought. Lease said Partnership for Excellence, a $900,000 state assisted program that helps students transfer to universities and four-year colleges, was cut less than anticipated but could take a hit next year.

Lease indicated that next year’s cuts could be worse, as the governor proposed cuts of 10.7 percent for community colleges. The 3.3 percent cut this year is included in the proposed 10.7 percent.

The 3.3 percent this year is more than the 1.7 percent decrease, or $60.9 million, for the California State University system and 1.5 percent, or $59.6 million, for the University of California system.

“I am very concerned about what these funding reductions will bring,” said Thomas Nussbaum, chancellor of the California Community Colleges. “Virtually every community college in the state is cutting classes, turning away students and issuing layoff notices to faculty and staff.”

Nussbaum said he is grateful that cuts were less than expected and expressed hope for next year’s funding.

William Ferchland can be reached by e-mail at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com

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