Approved funds to go to adding sections

The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees approved on Wednesday, May 1 an increase to the revised Education Protection Act (EPA), which gives more than $76 million to the schools in the district.

The revised EPA, which started as a direct effect of Proposition 30, enables schools to offer more sections throughout the year.

The money would increase and help rebuild summer and winter sessions that some schools in the district had been missing for the past four or five years.

In December of last year, $35 million was distributed to the schools by the LACCD. The schools were asked to report how they were going to use that money, according to Jeanette Gordon, LACCD’s chief financial officer.

“They [LACCD] initially project funds and estimate how many students they are going to have enrolled,” said Vice Chancellor Yasmin Delahoussaye. “Then they look at P1  [principal apportionment] to find out how many students you [currently] have so you can adjust it to the students you have enrolled. “

The spending of these funds is restricted, and auditors will verify that the money was used how it was supposed to, Gordon said during the Wednesday LACCD Board of Trustees meeting.

“The expenditures will be audited based on exactly the spending plan required by the board,” said Gordon.

The EPA spending plan preliminary estimate on Dec. 5, 2012 was of $35,213,804, but on March 8, 2013 in the first P1 the amount identified for the funding was increased to $76,271,474, according to the meeting’s agenda.

This money is strictly to be used for instructional classroom purposes only, according to the meeting’s agenda.

Representatives for the different colleges in the district spoke, and explained to the trustees how this money had helped them rebuild sections that were cut off, and how it positively affected the schools due to newly-added sections.

For instance, Marvin Martinez, president of Los Angeles Harbor College, said during the meeting that because of this increase in EPA, Harbor was able to add classes to their spring and fall semesters, and for the first time in four years they were going to have a summer session.

“I am very pleased that we now have the money to have more classes available as it was pointed out during our public hearing process,” said Nancy Pearlman, second vice president of the board of trustees.  “Some of our colleges are now able to have summer and winter sessions, so that students can complete their educational program faster and sooner.”

Although these EPA funds have been a huge help for schools in the district, Gordon said that these are not new funds, and Pearlman said that it is not a continuous situation but it will definitely help the schools for the next four years.

For spring 2013, the schools in the district spent $24,611,942 on hourly instructional salaries for teachers, according to the EPA expenditure report from April 24, 2013.

Additionally, $17,107,924 was used for full-time instructional salaries, as shown in the meeting’s agenda.

Pierce College used $4,577,615 of the EPA for hourly instructional salaries, and spent $197,003 on full time instructional salaries.

The revised Education Protection Act (EPA) goes as followed for the schools in the district:

§  City: $10,929,872

§  East: $16,527,186

§  Harbor: $5,049,263

§  Mission: $4,575,561

§  Pierce: $10,885, 280

§  Southwest: $3,815,432

§  Trade-Tech: $9,102,150

§  Valley: $9,761,551

§  West: $5,291,050