The Allan Hancock College's Board of Trustees was happy to give a balanced 2013-14 fiscal year budget — devoid of major cuts and mounting deficits — its stamp of approval this week.
For the first time in several years, the adopted budget also planned specifically for adding class sections to serve more students.
“The big deals are the budget was balanced and we have a prudent reserve,” said Betty Miller, vice president and director of administrative services.
The board on Tuesday unanimously adopted a final version of the budget, which was shy of being balanced by $322,000 when trustees tentatively approved it in June.
Projected income for the final 2013-14 fiscal year currently exceeds expenditures by $14,352 — with both topping more than $49 million — and the spending plan projects a 7.98 percent unrestricted reserve.
“During the summer we were finalizing,” Miller said of balancing the budget. “With this year, we didn’t have the big reductions that we have had to face in recent years. We’ve had a series of years where things were particularly tough.”
Like other community colleges, Hancock has weathered several years of consecutive million-dollar deficits due to a decrease in state funding.
Even last year’s budget planned for the worst-case scenario of Proposition 30 failing to pass, Miller said.
A stable level of funding with Prop 30’s passage and some state funding changes have provided Hancock a less-difficult path to breaking even this year, she added.
“We have very, very few one-time solutions built into our budget,” Miller said.
For this year’s budget, the college was able to focus on maintaining fiscal stability and cash-flow issues while also adding roughly 70 class sections in sought-after subject areas.
Miller said a budget committee of college constituents has already started the process to plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year, where new state funding could again close an anticipated shortfall.
“We’re probably as well positioned to go into the 2014-15 year as we could be,” she said optimistically.