Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone College reviews budget, keeps reserves

By Wes Bowers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

Ohlone Community College may have $5.3 million in its fund balance for the 2009-10 school year.

On May 6, the Ohlone Board of Trustees was presented with a 2009-10 tentative budget. Although no action was taken, the tentative budget allows the college to stay in the black and retain healthy reserves.

Ohlone Dean of Business Services Joanne Schultz said the school's budget is due to the state by June 30.

The college is expecting a total of $46.6 million in total revenue for the budget, with $42.9 million coming from state apportionment. Expenditures are estimated at $46.5 million.

Schultz said the district would establish a 5-percent contingency reserve to offset the costs, totaling $2.3 million.

Also, a rainy day fund of $1 million will be maintained, while reserves of $300,000 for capital improvements and $300,000 for office equipment will be established.

A one-time expenditures reserve of $543,236 will also be established, and the college has already set a growth reserve of $310,000.

With these, Ohlone's fund balance for the 2009-10 school year is estimated to be $5,369,241. The beginning fund balance is $5,243,039.

In addition to the reserves, staff will cut several vacant positions for $1.6 million in savings. There is also no cost of living adjustment or growth included.

Staff estimates 8,447 full-time employees will still be at the school, while enrollment fees will stay at $20 per unit. Staff is also expecting $1 million in non-resident tuition revenue.

Ohlone is also counting on some May 19 propositions to pass, which will help community college revenues.

Proposition 1B requires supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts, with annual payments begin in 2011-12.

Payments would be funded from the state's Budget Stabilization Fund until the total amount has been paid.

Payments to local school districts will be allocated in proportion to average daily attendance and may be used for classroom instruction, textbooks and other local educational programs.

Proposition 1C, the Lottery Modernization Act, would protect funding levels for schools currently provided by lottery revenues. Since its creation in 1985, the lottery has contributed nearly $21 billion to California schools.

If the propositions fail, Schultz said the state expects a $6-billion shortfall. The California Department of Finance is expecting to see an additional $8-billion shortfall for the state next year.

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