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Orange County Focus

FULLERTON : College District Tries to Plan for State Cuts

March 30, 1991|LYNDA NATALI

Facing a potential $3.5-million cut in its state budget allocation, the North Orange County Community College District has issued layoff notices to six employees and is considering other cutbacks, including closing a district facility.

One teacher and five managers from community services programs received preliminary layoff notices March 15, according to district officials. A final decision on the layoffs will depend on the state Legislature's decision on education allocations later this year, said Gil Moreno, vice chancellor of finance and facilities.

Under the plan proposed by Gov. Pete Wilson, the college district, which includes Fullerton College and Cypress College, would not receive a cost-of-living increase or extra funding for increasing enrollment. Officials estimate that the district will need a 5.25% cost-of-living increase from the state in order to maintain services at the current level.

The financial problems are further compounded because the district is only receiving enough money to account for a 1% increase in student population, but it is growing at a rate of 6%.

Moreno said district officials have suggested cutbacks in areas that would have the least effect on students.

"The goal is to stay away from the academic curriculum," Moreno said. "We want to reduce areas as far away from the classroom as possible."

Recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Trustees by the district's budget committee include closing the district's assessment center, which provides testing services to students. The center, opened in 1982, has been recognized by the state Department of Education for excellence.

Other proposals include eliminating sabbatical leave for faculty members, instituting a hiring freeze and reducing travel for conferences. The district has already decided to go on a four-day workweek during the summer months as a means of reducing utility costs and water consumption.

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