By Megan G. Razzetti
The Budget Committee has pushed back the finalization of East Los Angeles College’s budget for the 2016-17 school year.
In a meeting on Monday, the committee had not reached an agreement on how to present the budget at the upcoming budget forum on May 26.
Instead members motioned for another meeting to be held prior to the forum, in which a projected balance and report would be presented.
Jeffrey Hernandez, who serves as a faculty and administrative co-chair on the academic senate, explained the slow progress by the committee is nothing new.
“We fumbled last year and also last year and didn’t get (the budget)done until April.” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also stated that during his time on the committee new ways of planning are established.
“There have been dramatic improvements since 2009,” Hernandez said. “We have established better planning to stay on track to prioritize things.”
The committee ran behind last year as well, and according to Hernandez, the committee worked on revising the budget-planning process and extended the deadline for the 2016-17 budget to April rather than the usual February deadline.
According to Hernandez, the committee still fell behind on progress.
During the meeting, concerns over the uncertainty of where any additional funds granted to ELAC would be accounted for in the final budget proposal.
The concerns also included that the proposal would make cuts on tutoring services, due to lack of growth data reported from that area
Elaine Shibata, Computer Applications and Office Technologies Department Chair, expressed her concerns over the actual planning of the budget and where it raised serious uncertainties in terms of where the budget would harm student success overall due to lack of efficient tutoring services.
“For our department (CAOT), it’s supplies and the tutors. I still don’t have a clear idea on how much we can budget for the next year,” Shibata said.
“It’s very touch-and-go for this year and you’ve got to plan on hiring and you can’t assure that students will last for the whole semester or which classes are going to be cut. It was very uncertain this year, it didn’t feel comfortable and I don’t feel comfortable about next year.”
To try to alleviate concerns over the progress of planning, Laura M. Ramirez, Vice President of Academic Affairs presented a draft of a budget that was created using the requests received by various departments at ELAC.
However, despite the efforts, the committee did not come to a final agreement and made plans to add another meeting date before presenting.
The next budget committee meeting will take place on May 9.