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Countywide Focus

Area Colleges Get State Revenue Boost

February 21, 1996|KELLY DAVID

Five months after adopting its $62.4-million budget, the county's community college district has received another boost in revenue from the state.

The increase adds an unexpected $600,000 to the district's spending plan and ensures the first significant faculty raises in more than five years, said Harry Culotta, budget director for the Ventura County Community College District.

The state released the figures on education spending--adjusted biannually based on property taxes--over the Internet on Thursday.

With the added funds, the total state funds going to Ventura County's three community colleges in Moorpark, Ventura and Oxnard comes to $58.8 million, about $2.9 million more than last's year budget allocation from the state.

About $1.4 million will go toward faculty raises, Culotta said. But the district has until March 4 to determine the percentage increase for faculty raises based on a funding formula.

Two years ago, the district and the faculty union agreed to tie faculty raises to the state's February adjustment of funds as a way of avoiding bitter negotiating battles.

Except for a 1% raise last year, faculty members have not seen a raise since 1990.

"We are very happy that after going through such a dry spell of no raises at all, we have a way that requires salary calculations [without] . . . a lot of fighting," said Elton Hall, a Moorpark College instructor.

The district's nonteaching staff members--whose negotiations have been put off pending this month's release of the revised funding figures--say they expect discussions with the district to move swiftly now.

Except for the same 1% raise that the faculty received last year, that group has not received a salary increase since 1991.

"We haven't been able to get any dollar figure from the district on what type of raises they are going to offer," said Leanne Colvin, president of the union for nonteaching employees. "So hopefully they will come back to us with something reasonable."

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