Today, Governor Brown released the 2018-19 budget proposal, his last as Governor of California. The budget includes $131.7 billion in General Fund spending, a $5.2 billion increase over 2017-18 expenditures. In furtherance of the Governor’s ongoing commitment to fiscal restraint and preparing for the next recession, the budget would fully fund the Rainy Day Fund reserve to $13.5 billion.
Capital Outlay and School Bond
The Governor proposes to fund five new capital outlay projects in 2018-19, and to fund 15 continuing projects that received funding for preliminary plans in 2017-18. Total proposed community college capital outlay funding for 2018-19 is $44.9 million in general obligation bond dollars, and funds are targeted to address fire and life safety issues. The Governor states that, prior to obtaining a construction appropriation for their projects, San Francisco and Pasadena Community College districts are “expected to produce local matching funds.”
New starts include:
Redwoods Community College District - College of the Redwoods: Arts Building Replacement
Coast Community College District, Golden West College: Language Arts Complex
Mt. San Antonio Community College District, Mt. San Antonio College: New Physical Education Complex
Peralta Community College District, Laney College: Learning Resource Center
Peralta Community College District, Merritt College: Child Development Center
The Board of Governors had approved 18 new projects for funding in 2018-19, in contrast to the five projects the Governor is proposing to fund.
Deferred Maintenance and Instructional Equipment
The budget proposes a one-time increase of $264.3 million Proposition 98 General Fund and $10.9 million Proposition 98 settle-up for deferred maintenance, instructional equipment, and specified water conservation projects.
Student Funding Formula
The budget proposes a new community college funding formula for general purpose apportionments that encourages access for underrepresented students and provides additional funding to support low-income students and reward colleges for progress on improving student success metrics. The proposal states that no district will receive less funding in the first year of implementation than is currently allocated. The formula will include a base grant (approximately 50% of funding), a supplemental grant based on the number of low-income students that the district enrolls (25%), and a student success incentive grant based on the number of degrees and certificates granted (25%).
Online College and Online Education Initiative
The budget proposes $120 million Proposition 98 General Fund ($20 million in ongoing funds) for the creation of a fully online California community college, in order to provide underserved working students with scheduling flexibility and more accessible learning options. The budget indicates that Californians with a high school diploma but no college degree are at great risk during economic downturns and from the impact of automation in the workforce. The budget states that the online college will not impact enrollment at traditional community colleges because the online college enrollment base is working adults who are not currently accessing higher education.
Additional Items with Possible Facilities Implications
Chancellor’s Office State Operations – An increase of $2 million General Fund to fill 15 vacant positions to support initiatives and investments made in the community colleges.
CCC Apportionments – An increase of $322.5 million Proposition 98 General Fund:
$175 million increase to support the transition to a student-focused funding formula.
$161.2 million increase for a 2.51 percent cost-of-living adjustment.
$60 million increase for enrollment growth.
$73.7 million decrease to reflect unused growth provided in 2016-17.
Strong Workforce Program – An increase of $212 million in grants to K-12 local education agencies to expand and align their career technical education programs with the workforce training programs offered by higher education institutions.
California College Promise – An increase of $46 million Proposition 98 General Fund to support implementation of the California College Promise. Colleges could use this funding to waive some or all of the $46 per unit fee for all first-time resident students enrolled in 12 units or more per semester during their first year.
Additionally, we are waiting for information on the Proposition 39 energy efficiency program, as 2017-18 was the final year of guaranteed funding. The Chancellor’s Office has indicated that it will sweep unallocated funds this spring for an additional funding round under the current program.
The Legislature will now begin reviewing the Governor’s proposal in-depth at hearings over the course of the next few months, as they work to meet a constitutional deadline of adopting the budget by June 15. CCFC will engage directly in this process and advocate for funding all of the projects on the 2018-19 Spending Plan approved by the Board of Governors in 2017, including the 18 new starts.
CCFC Legislative Advocate