Officials approve $307 million spending budget for 2019-2020

Thousands of dollars more will be allocated to several programs at El Camino College this year along with the hiring of more staff and faculty, according to the El Camino College Community District (ECCCD) final budget for 2019 to 2020.

After meeting once a week for three consecutive weeks, the Board of Trustees (BOT) at ECC approved the proposed $307 million expenses budget on Tuesday, Sept. 3, officials said.

BOT officials praised the new budget comprised of local, state and federal funding along with other contributions as this year’s spending will be about 5.86% larger than last year, according to the ECCCD final budget for 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

“That’s really good [because] we want to be able to continue the great programs and great work we do to help students meet their goals and this budget supports that,” Maloney said.

Maloney said she considers this budget stable, considering ECC has had good and bad budget years.

However, the total amount ECC will be receiving from all contributions is $422 million, roughly 7.2% less than last year’s budget, according to the ECCCD 2019 to 2020 final budget.

The $422 million is spread out across 16 funds, 15 of those being restricted, meaning that money can only be used for very specific projects and expenses, ECC Business Manager Jeffrey Hinshaw said.

“All these other funds have special purposes, they have to be spent a certain way on certain things,” Hinshaw said.

This includes the General Obligation Bond (Fund 42), which makes up about 12.5% of the total budget and can’t be used for anything other than construction on campus, Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw said the college will be spending more this year despite having a smaller budget because of increasing expenses going towards staff salaries, new mandated hirings and increasing retirement rates among others.

“We have a a salary schedule where everybody automatically moves up to the next step every year,” Hinshaw said. “The cost of maintaining staff goes up every year and health insurance goes up and things like that.”

Hinshaw added that ECC will spend about 2.36% of the new total budget on a new Safety Training Center.

“We have a special grant from the state to build basically a new facility for Emergency Medical Technicians and [firefighters],” Hinshaw said.

ECC will be allocating $149,000 that will go towards a “hunger free campus” grant that would help fund the Warrior Food Pantry, a program that assists disadvantaged students with food, toiletries and other resources.

“Students shouldn’t have to come to school hungry,” Student Trustee Lindsey Lee said.

More money will be also be allocated into more programs including the Veterans Resource Center and mental health services, according to the ECCCD 2019 to 2020 final budget.

“Maybe a few years ago we didn’t care about these services but it’s great we are highlighting them now,” Lee said. “It opens up deeper conversations.”

The next BOT meeting will be on Monday. Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. in EC’s Alondra Room, located about the Bookstore.

Update Tuesday, Sept. 10, 9:00 p.m., Article updated with content