3D team questions ELAC’s budget

By Stephanie Garibay

The 3D team came together to discuss whether or not East Los Angeles College’s financial resources are being used sufficiently.

Each year, the school is given an annual budget by the state of California. This budget is used to support and sustain student-learning programs. The accreditation commission has specific expectations for every community college related to financial resources. The school is expected to manage the resources with integrity in a way to ensure financial stability.

Using ideas from previous self-studies and questions, the 3D team decided upon new text for the standard III.D.1. This document discusses the team’s meetings along with the school’s current financial resources.

The proper use of the budget is vital in the education of the students. It is used to start programs like the college transfer initiative, GO East LA partnership, the Student Success program and the First-Year Experience program. The goal of these programs is to increase the number of students who transfer to four-year universities.

These programs provide sources for students to learn the basics of college life like what course to take, what majors to choose from and a guide to help students transfer. The programs are also part of the campus’s master plan. Each department is given the opportunity to come up with goals that are aligned to the services of the campus’s number of master plans.

These master plans include a plan for the facility, education and technology. Under these plans, there are certain objectives to implement certain goals. The goals are then reviewed and priority is given to departments whose goals are in alignment with the master plans’ goals.

“Having specific objectives and plans allows us to say ‘okay, let’s give priority to that toward funding,” professor Jeffrey Hernandez said. Hernandez is a part of the 3D team.

Each department is given a certain budget, but can ask for more resources for the budgets. “They have shown how it’s tied to the school’s plan,” Hernandez said. The budget is also used to pay the staff and faculty salaries. When budgets are cut, so are the staff and faculty members’ salaries.

“This year, the budget was sufficient enough, but a couple years back, our budget was cut, so a lot of faculty and staff lost their jobs,” Hernandez said. This year, the annual restricted budget was roughly around $105 million. The 3D team determined this budget was sufficient enough to cover all costs.

The team anticipates “a substantial projected year-end balance as has been the case at ELAC for several years due to the college’s ability to grow and provide quality education efficiently and effectively” as stated in the III.D.1 document.

The 3D team will meet once more on Dec. 5 to elaborate more on the financial resources at the Administrative Services conference room. Students are allowed to view the meeting and encouraged to volunteer for the 3D.

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