FAIRFIELD — The push is on at Solano Community College to boost student enrollment.
Yulian Ligioso, the college’s vice president of finance, presented the first reading of the 2013-14 budget Wednesday night. He stressed the need to at least meet the base number of expected students, which is 8,502. Much of the budget is based on this target figure with the college receiving state funds for each full-time enrolled student.
With summer session canceled in 2012, the number of full-time equivalent students dropped. The college reported a decline in enrollment but the district’s funding mechanism provided protection from an immediate drop in funding.
Ligioso said the college could see a shortfall of about 548 students if enrollment numbers stay the same for spring 2014 as they are for the current semester. That shortfall translates to $2.5 million, but he said the college more than likely will not see the loss.
“If we can achieve more than that in the spring we might move past the base, but if we don’t we have the option to borrow from summer enrollment,” he said in an interview after the meeting.
Borrowing the summer enrollment numbers from the upcoming year pushes the college over the base enrollment number for the current year.
District revenues for 2013-14 are predicted to be about $46.8 million. For the first time in two years, there is no threat of midyear trigger cuts that kept schools on their toes. Districts are also seeing a cost-of-living allowance for the first time in several years.
Expenditures, however, still exceed revenues and are tagged at $47.3 million, leaving excess spending at a bit more than $500,000. That amount will be taken out of reserves, leaving reserves at 11.9 percent.
Proposition 30 boosted those coffers, but Ligioso cautioned the governing board that the money is temporary with the sale tax increase set to end in 2016 and the income tax increase ending in 2018.
“While we are certainly seeing good things with Proposition 30 passing . . . Proposition 30 is just temporary,” he said. “There is still a question as to whether (it) will become a permanent measure.”
The budget will be back in front of the governing board Sept. 18 for final approval.
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