The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Waiting lists for classes at the three campuses in the San Mateo County Community College District should be smaller as officials outline plans to use parcel tax funds to add courses.
Voters approved Measure G, the $34 annual parcel tax supporting the San Mateo County Community College District, by a slim margin in June 2010. The four-year tax generates about $7 million annually for the district. On Wednesday, presidents for the three school campuses will submit plans for using the funds in the current school year along with updates about how money was spent in the previous year.
Each president’s plan includes a total Measure G request of $2.4 million. In most instances, the schools also underspent in previous years.
Cañada College, for example, budgeted to spend $1.9 million during the last school year but spent $1.3 million. In the coming year, President James Keller’s plan includes spending $1.14 million to increase the number of sections of courses offered by 142. These courses will provide more opportunities for basic skills and general education. There will also be an expansion in workforce curriculum and expanding distance learning opportunities. Cañada will also spend $840,000 to expand support services like library hours and counseling services. Lastly, the Redwood City administration plans to invest $416,000 into programs that preserve job training, support students and offer professional development for the faculty.
The College of San Mateo has a similar spending plan putting $1.5 million toward additional class sections, which will mean more than 270 additional sections of math, English, science and other high-demand disciplines, according to President Michael Claire’s plan. The expanded course offering includes additional online classes to replace the eliminated telecourse offerings. Student support services could get a $433,000 boost with funding providing additional counseling hours, classified employees to help in high-demand areas and operational support for the college’s Learning Center. Lastly, CSM’s plan includes putting $444,000 toward innovation activities and programs that help further the goals of allowing students to transfer, gain basic skills or receive job training.
Lastly, Skyline College President Regina Stanback Stroud’s plan calls for $1.225 million to maintain restored class sections. During the most recent semester, this equaled 90 class sections which will be retained in the spring and summer sessions, according to Stroud’s plan. Skyline is earmarking $586,000 to services such as registration, counseling, financial aid, expanded library hours and electronic library media. Lastly, $597,000 will be put toward supplemental instruction, accreditation programs, learning facilities and preparation courses for students needing help with basic academic skills.
The board meets 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the District Office board room, 3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo.