A Story Told in Tables – Priorities from 2017 to 2014
First, let’s take a look at fiscal priorities of Cerritos College for eight years, from 2007 to 2014.
Cerritos College Fiscal Priorities at a Glance
from 2007 to 2014
The college budget is a moral document, reflecting what the college regards as most and least important. What this chart shows is that the College regards the hoarding of money as more important than providing sections for students or paying faculty. This is a perversion of college priorities.
During bad economies, people return to school. The Great Recession began in 2008.
Sections Gained – and Lost
By 2009, when students needed classes most, Cerritos College slashed the number of course offerings by 20%.
We packed classes in ‘08-’09. Then we began cutting sections, despite high demand. Student enrollment began falling.
We lost some 7149 FTES from our high in ’08-’09 and the low in ’12-’13.
Meanwhile, Cerritos College reserves continued to grow. And grow.
Reserves in Millions
For 2016, we expect a surplus topping $50 million.
“For every $1 California invests in students who graduate from college, it will receive a net return on investment of $4.50” (“Key Facts about CA Community Colleges.” N.p., 7 Oct. 2015. Web). That’s a 350% return on investment. California has invested hugely in Cerritos College—so much so that, by the end of this fiscal year, Cerritos College will have almost a $50 million surplus. In the bank, that surplus earns about 3%. If it were invested in students and their teachers, it could be earning something closer to 350%. Hoarding reserves, then, is tantamount to squandering about 347%. 347% of $50 million is about $174 million. Imagine the response of District families when they hear that Cerritos College is not only denying some of their children classes but squandering $174 million of their investment. And that’s just money. Think of the dreams deferred. Tragic. Pathological Prudence.