Cerritos College respond to budget cutbacks

Talon Marks Online News

Talon Marks Online News

Talon Marks Online News

Associated Students Cerritos College president Jasmin Ramirez set up a meeting with Linda Lacy and David El Fattal on May 2 to discuss the financial budget and how it may affect students.

In 2011 the state cut back $8.6 million from the budget and gave this information to the college unexpectedly in February when the school was already done distributing the budget amongst programs, classes, and payroll.

“It came out of the blue and it really impacts everybody in a negative way,” Fattal said.

One of the rising concerns for students are the increased student fees at Cerritos. Many people do not understand that the college does not benefit from the student fees. Those fees go to the state, not the college.

“I think that the fees will go up again and continue to go up,” Lacy said.

The college gets paid based on the number of full time equivalent students which means 15 units a semester. The majority of students at Cerritos are part time so not every student at the college is being funded by the state.

Besides the cutbacks the college also has to find ways to compensate with the $21 million owed to them in deferrals from the state. Deferrals forced the college to borrow money and take out loans from themselves. The money that the state is withholding does not allow the college to make interest off the money that is owed to them which could go toward more classes.

The college is paying out of their savings for summer and will cost around $2.5 million. Summer classes may not be an option in the future if the budget keeps getting cut because the college simply cannot afford it.

“If you cut out fall and spring it may take students five years to get out of here,” Lacy said.

The college has done everything they can concerning the budget but if things become worse then they may have to start laying off teachers and staff.

“What this college has never wanted to do is lay people off. But now we are getting to the point where we may need to do that,” Lacy said.

The only thing the college can do and what they have been doing to improve their budget cuts is lobby in Sacramento.

“We have been lobbying in Sacramento. Student government can really do a lot if they continue lobbying,” Lacy said.