Cuesta College officials are bracing themselves for the possibility of midyear state budget cuts that could leave the community college short $500,000 to $750,000 in operational funding this year.
Last week, California state Controller John Chiang said tax revenue fell nearly $539 million below projections in July, pushing the state closer to triggering cuts that could affect education and social services.
In May, Cuesta’s board of trustees approved cuts of $2.9 million to deal with the campus’ funding shortfalls.
Those cuts led to 43 nonteaching positions taking an 8.3 percent cut through permanently reduced work hours and about 70 part-time faculty members having their class loads reduced or eliminated. In addition, five employees were laid off.
Cuesta President Gil Stork said this week that if midyear budget cuts occur, the college faces cost-cutting measures that could include about 10 to 15 additional layoffs as well as furloughs.
But Stork said that college officials would seek to keep as many people employed as possible because staff already has been impacted to the point where one person is handling jobs formerly handled by multiple people in some instances.
“We want to minimize staff reductions and layoffs as much as possible,” Stork said. “They’re a major morale killer. Right now, we need to be mutually rallying together for success and to be pulling together.”