San Francisco supervisors urge City College to use funds for classes 

click to enlarge Ailing City College of San Francisco is planning to use some of its Proposition A windfall, $16 million a year, to build up its tapped-out reserve funds. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Ailing City College of San Francisco is planning to use some of its Proposition A windfall, $16 million a year, to build up its tapped-out reserve funds.

Two supervisors are calling on City College to use millions of dollars from a parcel tax to fund more classes rather than shoring up its financial reserves as college accreditation officials have warned it to do.

The nonbinding resolution, introduced Tuesday at a Board of Supervisors committee, asks CCSF to use the $16 million it will receive from Proposition A each year for the next eight years to fund classes.

“Because of the value of City College, it’s time to think more creatively and have better systems to support the school at the city level,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, a co-sponsor of the resolution. “This resolution calls for the school to use as much of Prop. A funds to keep classrooms open as possible.”

Prop. A is a parcel tax approved by voters in November. City College officials approved a plan in February to use the funds to increase investment in technology, maintenance and the college’s reserves.

City College went to the voters because the institution faced financial pressures, which include $53 million worth of cuts since 2007. Because of the cuts, college officials had dipped into reserves to prevent drastic reductions to classes, putting the level of reserves at a critically low point, which raised criticism from a state
accreditation agency.

After receiving a sanction by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges last summer for numerous violations and a scathing report on the state of its finances, City College has been looking for ways to rebuild its coffers.

But since Prop. A and the statewide tax measure Proposition 30 passed, the college’s financial outlook has improved. As a result, college officials have opted to increase the class offerings for the summer and fall semesters, but also to use the money from The City to shore up its reserves, something that has drawn criticism.

“I saw Prop. A as a way to bring more funding to support the actual work of education and the community,” Supervisor John Avalos said. “I didn’t see it as a source of funding to expanding reserves.”

The resolution, if approved, would also ask city officials to examine fees charged to City College and determine if additional savings or in-kind support could be offered to the institution.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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