We are about to engage in that biennial exercise we call, “Guess our budget.” The Legislature establishes our budget every two years, so we alternate between years where we know our funding level and years when we wait and see.
Two years ago the Legislature allocated Oregon community colleges $550 million for the biennium. This is one of those wait and see years. Julie reported at a recent all-staff forum that state funding for the next two years could be between $506 million and $795 million.
UPDATE: With the failure of Measure 97 the smart money is on a funding range of $506 million-$563 million for the next biennium.
We use a process to manage our way through uncertainty. Typically we develop alternate funding scenarios while we wait for the state appropriation.
Here are the major milestones you can anticipate in the months ahead –
- December-January: Divisions discuss plans for funding gaps and investments then prepare proposals tied to core themes
- January 18: Tuition recommendation made to the Board of Education
- February: Executive Team discusses proposals for reductions and investments
- February 22: Board of Education sets tution
- March 1: Executive Team submits proposed budget
- April 12: First Budget Committee hearing
- May 17: Budget hearing
- June 28: Board of Education votes on the budget
There will be numerous points throughout the process for updating staff on status and progress. Watch for those notices.