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College of marin

News Echo Times College of Marin Kentfield, California Phone: (415) 485-9690 Learning Resource Center Room LC 32 Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Dederick Managing Editor Gustavo Goncalves News Editor Ben Tasner Photo Editor Jim Gessner Copy Editor Ben Tasner Art & Entertainment Editor Jim Gessner Design Director Gustavo Goncalves Jim Gessner Reporters Juliana Franco Natalie Way Elisa Bryant Jamie Eichar Paul Trinidad Nash Kurilko C.J. McCormick Photographers Jim Gessner Sindy Smart Gustavo Goncalves Jamie Eichar Advertising Manager Katharine Cowan Office Manager Katharine Cowan Faculty Advisor Tom Graham Visit us online www.echotimesmarin.com Email us comechotimes@gmail.com Follow us www.twitter.com/echotimes www.facebook.com/comechotimes Marin Sun Printing prints the Echo Times using 40 percent recycled paper and 100 percent soy ink

Mar. 3 - Mar. 26, 2012

COM evades the recent budget cuts

Budget Cuts continued from page 1 n top of $400 million in cuts this school year, Governor Jerry Brown shocked the Community College system this February with a surprise cut of an additional $149 million, bringing the total losses to over $550 million to California community colleges. Yet COM does not seem to be affected by the states’ immense cuts. “Relatively speaking, we haven’t cut a lot of sections, we haven’t had any layoffs (and) employees haven’t been asked to give anything back,” Stated David Wain Coon, Superintendent and President of the College. Other colleges like the City College of San Francisco took an initial cut of $13.5 million, and now with the surprise in February, are seeing another $3.6 million taken from their budget. This huge hit is forcing them to cut 67 classes, and if things get worse to the degree that they are considered financially unstable, they could be placed under the charge of a state administrator. The difference between COM and the schools that are going to the capitol to protest, is that we don’t get our main source of funding from the state. College of Marin is one of three schools in California that is designated a Basic Aid District, meaning we get our money from local property taxes and student fees. Al Harrison, Vice President of Operations at the college stated, “Property taxes are a better deal right now while everyone is bleeding, but it can go either way, it’s not a guarantee.” The other two schools that fall under this category are South Orange and Maricosta Community Colleges. Back in the 2001-02 school year COM did not choose, but was designated as a Basic Aid District by the government. Harrison explained the reason, paraphrased here: The money we were getting from property taxes and student fees amounted to more than we needed from the state. If we had been receiving less, the state would offset the amount not gained through taxes and enrollment fees. So in 2001-02, College of Marin was receiving enough money from property taxes and enrollment for the state to declare it a basic aid district. At the time it wasn’t necessarily seen as a big blessing. Being a Basic Aid district, even if property tax money increased five percent in that year, the limit on increased

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In This Issue Feb. 11 - Mar. 2, 2012

News 1-4, 8-11 Features 1-2, 4-7 Calendar 11 Sports 12

Info-Graphic by Gustavo Goncalves

Info-Graphic by Gustavo Goncalves

funding would cap off at just two percent. All the other colleges that were receiving state funding at the time could get a much larger increase in the budget. Yet now with such drastic cuts in State funding, that two percent increase can be seen as a blessing, because it is still an increase. While being a Basic Aid District does not mean we escape all cuts and problems, it does mean that we are under a system that is mostly set apart from the states’ cuts, which at the moment is quite fortunate. “Legislature giveth, and legislature taketh away,” Stated Harrison. Fortunately, COM is safe for now but it doesn’t mean that we will be forever. To understand funding system at COM, here is the breakdown of our budget: To fully grasp the budget you have to understand that there are two major funds we use in order to fund school programs, classes, and faculty. The first being the unrestricted general funds, second the restricted general funds. You can refer to the charts while reading this for a visual. The first fund, which amounts to $45,282,534, is considered “unrestricted” money. These funds can be allocated into what COM sees fit in order to schedule classes and pay teachers and workers. About $40 million of this money comes

from the local property taxes (replacing the major funding we would get from the state). This large number nearly amounts to our entire unrestricted fund, but there are a few other main sources to complete the fund. The enrollment fees amount to more than $2 million, and with course fees increasing this fall to $46, this number could grow even more. The only cut we have seen from the state this year was from a one million dollar fund called Partnership for Excellence. About $500,000 was cut from the block grant, and the other half will be taken next year. The general fund, which amounts to $20,305,365, is seen as “restricted” money. This money comes from the local state and federal government and is given to every community college around the state. This account was not affected by this years cut, but could be in years to come. The federal government is funding more than $12 million of this fund, which is mostly going towards financial aid. State funding amounts to just over $3 million, and is broken into a lot of services and programs such as Disabled Students Programs and Services which took a cut two years ago, but hasn’t seen any since. Lastly, local sources amount to over $3 million as well, which are given to other specific programs. The main thing one has to understand about this money is that it is given by these sources for specific programs, which gives the students and faculty no say in what way they are appropriated. For more information on COM’s budget, the official Adoption Budget for the fiscal year 2011-12 can be found online at http:// www.marin.edu/WORDPPT/2011-2012BUDGETA SSUMPTIONSMay2011B oard.pdf

Info-Graphic by Gustavo Goncalves

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