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Maricopa community colleges working around loss of state funding

PHOENIX — Despite the proposed budget for the next fiscal year cutting nearly all state funding for community colleges, the Maricopa County Community College District says it can get by. While difficult, the cuts won’t be debilitating.

Small community college districts, such as, Central Arizona College in Pinal County, will see funds from the state this coming fiscal year while MCCCD stands to lose all of its $8.8 million dollars of state funds.

Debra Thompson, vice chancellor of business services said the cuts mean MCCCD will have to put off some future initiatives.

“There were a number of programs and initiatives that we had planned to put in place or to expand … and our ability to do that is severely limited,” she said.

Thompson said the district’s primary sources of operating revenue are intact because its revenue primarily comes from property taxes and tuition, while state funding only makes up about 1 percent of its total revenue.

However, the cuts will still have an impact on the district for the next year.

“One potential deferment might be in the numbers of residential faculty we can bring in,” she said. “Before this budget proposal we had planned to bring on an additional seven faculty positions and we are not sure we’d be able to do that.”

Thompson said the district will be evaluating over the next few weeks exactly what adjustments it will need to make.

“So we’re evaluating at this time what we won’t be able to do or what we’ll have to defer,” she said.

Currently there are no expected cuts to regular school operations or tuition increases as a result of the drop in funding, according to Thompson.

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