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Decrease in Palomar’s Fiscal Budget

Story by Nohea Cacatian, Marcos Novoa and Sheila Izvernari

SAN MARCOS–Palomar College’s fiscal year of 2020-2021 has seen a significant decrease in budgets.

In the comparison of adopted budgets between fiscal year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, there was a difference of $34,524,627. The fiscal year of 2019-2020 had a budget of $635,205,156 and the fiscal year of 2020-2021 has a budget of $600,680,529.

In a Palomar Governing Board meeting on April 29, the members discussed ways to resolve the current budget crisis. A report that was released in December 2019 showed a $12 million structural deficit.

Palomar Interim President Jack Kahn said to The Telescope in May, “In a fiscal crisis, we’re dealing with years and years of decisions that have culminated in this point where we can’t go back.”

“We started off the year on a very positive note, the government had positive news in January,” said Acting VP of Finance Yulian Ligioso.

Ligioso continued, “By May, it took a dramatic turn and went from a positive to a $54 billion deficit.”

He added that “it would have resulted in a significant loss of deficit to the college.”

Kahn listed three ways to fix the deficit. In year one, executing steps to reducing expenditures. In year two, make an effort to reorganize the college. Lastly, in year three, attempt to increase Palomar College’s revenues.

In the fiscal year of 2019-2020 the total amount of revenues was $142,500,800 and the total amount of expenditures was $142,374,307.

In the fiscal year of 2020-2021 the total amount of revenues was $131,831,885 and the total amount of expenditures was $131,496,196.

Co-President of Palomar’s Faculty Federation, Teresa Laughlin, wrote in an email to The Telescope in May that Palomar will receive $7.8 million from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act seeks to provide economic assistance for families, workers and businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Education, an additional emergency fund was created by the CARES act to support higher education institutions.

In a financial analysis report back in December 2019, it showed that 96.2 percent of Palomar’s funds are spent on salaries and benefits.

“We’re looking at a projected balanced budget for 2021 we brought in…we have projections for the next year, so that also looks pretty positive,” said Kahn.

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