Budget plan approved

Aaron Stein-Chester

After attending a state budget conference in late September, Saddleback College’s budget plan was fully approved.

This year’s state budget is a “status-quo” budget, according to Carol Hilton, head of Fiscal Services.

“It’s not good, but it’s not bad either,” Hilton said. “There have been worse years.”

Saddleback was granted a 4.3 percent budget increase for cost-of-living-allowance, which, according to Hilton, it does not always get.

In addition, Saddleback also secured a 1.77 percent increase in growth-cap funding. This is funding the college receives related to its growth.

The California community colleges receive the bulk of their funding from Proposition 98, a measure passed in 1988 that sets a minimum-funding guarantee for K-14 education. This year, Prop. 98 funding for the 2007-08 was adjusted up by 4.42 percent for inflation, but also adjusted down by 0.48 percent due to a statewide decline in Average Daily Attendance. “For next year, the economic forecast is a little weaker,” Hilton said. “Among other things, the sub-prime lending crisis has made the state’s economy vulnerable. Still, California’s economy is expected to have “slow and modest growth,” a positive sign overall.

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