Friday (Thursday) Letter, 6-30-16

Hello. This is the last Friday Letter of the Fiscal Year.  I’m not sure what kind of celebration we should have…I think that was the Finance Department’s responsibility.  In light of the “new year” starting tomorrow, I wanted to give a small Budget 201 presentation.  This is not 101…we have advanced to 201.

Attached is a document that explains the State Board’s allocation model. I wanted to give the summary version of this in the letter so that if you wanted to skip the reading, you’d still pass the test.  However, if you are interested in the detail, please explore this document: Allocation Model backgrounder.

So this is how it works:

The Legislature gives the State Board a huge sum of money…hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some of that money is earmarked by the Legislature for specific initiatives within the community college system; that money is pulled aside. As an example, our college gets money specifically directed for support of students with disabilities.  That’s how we get the money for that budget.

The remaining money is left up to the State Board to allocate as it sees fit. Over the past three years the Presidents have designed a new Allocation Model.  I served on this task force for two of those three years.

Money is allocated to the colleges as follows:

  1. Everyone gets a base amount of operating dollars ($2.5M).
  2. 5% of the money given to us by the Legislature is distributed based on how many Student Achievement Points you have.
  3. Programs are weighted, so high cost programs like Welding get more money than programs like English.
  4. Money is distributed based on your rolling three-year average enrollment, not the arbitrary state targets. This allows over-enrolled colleges (like Cascadia) to eventually start receiving more money.
  5. And finally, programs like ABE are weighted so that colleges can gain more reimbursement.

We were given preliminary budget numbers last month based upon this new model. The new model takes effect starting tomorrow. Our budget is “break-even” based upon the preliminary numbers given to us. During the month of July, we’ll see just how accurate the forecasting was and give you an update in August on how much we actually received vs how much we hoped to receive.

I will be on vacation next week and Rosemary will be acting President. Please have a safe Fourth of July. See you in the new (fiscal) year.

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