Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Employees Banner Image

Budget Information

Coast Community College District is in an enviable position, looked to as a leader within California and beyond. Coast’s reputation is a direct result of great faculty, staff, and managers who are all dedicated to student success. The continued support of Coast District voters provides the Colleges with state-of-the-art centers for teaching and learning.

In the last few years, however, long-term demographic trends in our communities and a strong economy have resulted in a district-wide enrollment decline. This challenge is furthered by state underfunding of its Student Centered Funding Formula, instituted in 2018-19. 

This year, Coast will need to make progress toward reducing deficit spending of up to $11 million. The District and Colleges will look to identify ways to get spending in line with revenues over the long term, while sustaining excellent student success outcomes.

This page will be updated as more information is available. Please also take this opportunity to share your suggestions on cost saving or revenue generating strategies.

Suggestions Form

All submissions are anonymous unless you choose to share your name.

Links to Additional Information

Chancellor’s Comments on Coast Enrollment and Funding

“We have the tools to work our way through this,” Chancellor Weispfenning said. “If we work together, we will weather this.”

A STRONGER PATH FORWARD: The hiring freeze and incentive for retirement acted on by trustees this week is a needed, and also challenging, step. The demographic trends for Orange County continue to point to lower student enrollment for our Colleges over the coming decade. This declining number of students puts significant pressure on Coast's financial health. College and District leadership carefully considered which of our available options would be least disruptive for our employees and their families. What emerged were the hiring freeze and incentive for retirement, essentially allowing some employees to choose to depart—perhaps a year or two earlier than planned—as we evaluate and restructure our services. I will not cast this as a step we would want to take outside of a pressing need. There will be significant challenges to overcome as people leave, taking their experience and skillsets with them. At the same time, those who remain will have a unique opportunity to shape their careers at Coast. For some, there may be opportunities for advancement or to try something new in a lateral move. All of us will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the work of our retiring colleagues. As friends and coworkers begin the next well-deserved phase of their lives, this time of challenge may yet strengthen bonds and forge a stronger path forward for those of us who remain.
Originally posted in the News Brief on January 17, 2020.

CHALLENGES ARE EASIER TO FACE WHEN WE FACE THEM TOGETHER: As a result of enrollment trends and funding uncertainty, budget challenges will exist for this and following years. How is it possible to have a budget problem in the midst of one of the longest periods of economic expansion in California’s history? In plain terms, promises were made to college districts early in the rollout of the state’s new Student Centered Funding Formula. If kept, those promises would have recognized Coast’s efforts in student achievement and would have resulted in $25 million in additional funding total for our Colleges this year and last. But the State funding promises were not met. And combined with Orange County’s ongoing population trends, a weak funding model means that the Coast District will face ongoing budget challenges. We are acknowledging the reality of these challenges and exploring how we can meet them with a united front. I’ll spend the next few months reaching out to classified staff, faculty, and managers. As we address current budget issues and find a sustainable path forward, it’s important that we all share our expertise and knowledge of the District’s capabilities. This will be a challenging process, but challenges are easier to face when we face them together. 

A START TO THE CONVERSATION: The state’s Student Centered Funding Formula, approved a year ago, was hurriedly designed and has given us several challenges because it was not fully funded. Some recent adjustments may make it more stable, but will limit any additional revenue for our colleges’ strong performance. Recession fears, changes in state funding priorities, and enrollment shortfalls mean the community college system, as a whole, is not as fiscally sound as the State’s economy suggests it should be. Normally, here in the Coast District, we would expect reserve funds to make up some of the lost funding, but we’ve gone to that well too many times already in the recent past, and the reserve has been drawn down. As a result, we need to begin now to plan the steps we will take if these trends don’t change. In my 2019-2020 Goals for the District, approved by the Board on Wednesday, one objective directs us to prepare strategies for managing funding shortfalls. Unfortunately, this planning activity comes at a time when unemployment is at record-low levels, construction is booming, and state tax revenues are as high as they’ve ever been. These funding shortfalls shouldn’t be happening while the economy is so strong, but they are. Through the summer and into the fall, I expect to lead conversations with the District Office and Colleges about these issues and what we will need to do fiscally to maintain the ability and effectiveness of the District to educate students.