By: Ricardo Martir
East Los Angeles College budget committee focused on the allocation of funds still available as part of the school’s annual budget. There is an estimated $28 million remaining in the budget that needs to be spent or it will get sent back to the state by the end of the year.
With the ongoing pandemic continuing to affect students’ educational experience an emphasis was made on continuing to adjust to these times. Bringing more custodians on staff, wi-fi upgrades in the quad area and the finalizing of hybrid classrooms were also topics that were discussed.
Adjustments include having available on-campus testing for COVID-19 beyond the two days out of the week due to conflicting schedules for staff members. “I have received a number of different faculty members basically stating that they can’t get testing,” said board member Michelle Benjamin. “Yes I can bring it forward to the EOC about expanding that time because two days a week (of testing) is light to me as well,” V.P. o f Admin Services Myeshia Armstrong said.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund scholarships for students were brought up in the meeting by Laura Ramirez, the chair of the committee, who asked when the scholarships would be made available after the scholarship received significant promotion of these scholarships.
“Students that are BOG (Board of Governors) eligible will receive $850 in funding per semester, and all nine schools in the district said that an additional 20 percent of HEERF will be set aside for additional student funding. The 20 percent will be identified through equity,” said Dr. Alberto J. Roman, president of ELAC.
Board member Jeffery Hernandez also brought up accomplishments from the ELAC budget committee to be recognized. He said, “This committee, our College, really leads the entire District as it relates to our commitment to the institutional portion given to students.”
The committee also recommended the use of survey data to inform HEERF priorities and allocation of funds.
“The committee has met its goal of providing more detailed information to ensure transparency and having the committee’s understanding of the budget,” Hernandez said. The budget committee hopes to have more details regarding where the money will be spent as the semester goes along and in their next meeting on October 15.