Board of Trustees discusses possible budget cuts from the current semester

Vice+President+of+Student+Services+David+El+Fattal+leads+a+presentation+discussing+the+current+budget+issue.+The+Board+of+Trustees+and+the+Faculty+Senate+were+invited+for+an+open+discussion+and+questions+as+the+meeting+went+on.+

Lauren Gandara

Vice President of Student Services David El Fattal leads a presentation discussing the current budget issue. The Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate were invited for an open discussion and questions as the meeting went on.

Lauren Gandara and Lauren Gandara

Drastic cuts to this school year’s budget were discussed amongst the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees on Friday.

Business Services Vice President David El Fattal and Fiscal Services Director Noorali Delawalla led the discussion, holding a slideshow presentation that presented the state budget, resources for taking out loans to support the school’s budget, and scenarios as to what would be cut from the budget, based on if Governor Jerry Brown’s tax intiative passes in the upcoming November election.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the intitiative would slightly increase sales taxes for everyone and create an even higher increase on income taxes for the wealthy in California to go towards schools and public safety and prevent from cutting more from their budgets.

“This is the worse it’s been in my 10 years (at Cerritos College) and it keeps getting worse and worse and worse.

“I know that we’ll turn one day, the corner, and I hope it’s before I retire,” El Fattal said about the current school budget situation.

According to El Fattal and Delawalla, some of the major threats against having a balanced budget are:

  • The governer’s tax initiative doesn’t pass
  • A continuously depleting economy
  • Major reduction on reserves
  • Hold-offs on creating reductions

They suggest that in order to avoid such threats, the Board of Trustees as well as the Faculty Senate members should take action by contacting legislators, attending Capitol Day events, and voting in this year’s November election.

If necessary, the school may borrow more from internal funds such as general funds, special revenue funds, capitol projects funds, internal service funds, and fiduciary funds.

As of June 30, the school has borrowed $5.2 million dollars from these internal sources.

If cuts continue to manifest, El Fattal and Delawalla suggest looking at the possibility of cutting back more summer session classes, holding off on hiring instructional aides and hourly workers, layoff some employee groups, and reductions on services and programs.

President Linda Lacy said, “If you can retire and it’s a good thing for you to retire then great and it saves the layoffs and the positions for people that still need their jobs.”

Board of Trustrees President Bob Arthur suggested leasing or selling the property behind the school where the strawberry fields are currently located.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room at 6 p.m. to discuss further on the current budget.