KCCD prepares budget

Aubrianna Martinez, Senior Digital Editor

The Kern Community College District virtually hosted a part of the Chancellor’s Seminar Series, “Dollars and Sense of Budgeting” on Feb. 1. KCCD Chancellor Sonya Christian spoke first before turning the floor over to her colleagues who walked attendants through the budgeting processes for the community colleges of the Kern district but offered no specific numbers on what this year’s budget will look like yet.
Christian defined her goals for the KCCD outside of the objective goals for the KCCD which could be divided into three sections: her goals relative to enrollment, students, and financial aid. She went into detail explaining that her plan to expand STEM graduates through bringing more grant money to the table for them that would, in turn, flow into her blueprint for what she referred to as “grow your own faculty initiative,” wherein students who had transferred from or graduated from the KCCD schools would be encouraged to return to KCCD schools taking faculty positions that would be otherwise difficult to fill.
Chief Financial Officer Arlitha Williams-Harmon explained the process the KCCD undergoes in order to create the annual budget from the ground up, stating that they do not simply recycle the budget from the year prior, but analyze it and use it as a baseline but do not view it as a static figure. Each year a budget is proposed by the state in Jan. by the governor’s office but is subject to change in May during the May Revise.
Though there was no discussion about the current numbers the KCCD is planning on implementing in their budget, Williams-Harmon stated that the one being prepared by the KCCD finance team is “our expression of those goals.”
“We want to make sure we are training our students so that they’re also able to earn degrees and get higher-paying jobs that are in demand within our region or our sectors or the state,” Williams-Harmon stated.
For those curious about the various stages of the budgeting process and would like to see as the numbers move where funds are being allocated to and where they are not, Williams-Harmon referred to each community college’s budget committee pages.