Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Report on special budget session
As the Legislature winds down a special session convened to reduce the current deficit of the state budget by $2.3 billion, we at Miami Dade College are making the mandated 4% budget cuts to this year’s programs and operations. The College already started 2008-2009 with $13.7 million less than the previous school year. All told, we are confronting a reduction of nearly $21 million.
These tight financial times are calling for sacrifices at all levels and the College will have to make some difficult choices. We are reviewing all possible approaches in an attempt to maintain the stability of the institution and our personnel. Once again, we will ask everyone to assist in a range of cost saving measures to combat these financial losses.
We have been advised to brace ourselves for an even worse 2009-2010. Projected losses to the state may come in as high as an additional $3.8 billion. How the College will fare under this more severe reduction in services, programs and operations will need to be debated in the halls of the Capitol in March, when the next regular session of the Legislature commences.
Budget reductions for the Community College System (CCS) and Miami Dade College resulting from this week's special session are as follows:
- Loss in Lottery: $5.2 million (CCS)
Loss to MDC: $847,000
- Loss in Operations/Community College Program Fund (CCPF) $38.3 million (CCS)
Loss to MDC: $6.2 million
- Loss in Baccalaureate Programs: $417,000 (CCS)
Loss to MDC: $48,000
These reductions are in addition to an unfunded student enrollment increase of 8% for the current year, translating to about 12,000 students with no funding from the state. Current year losses also showed no matching funds for scholarships and programs.
We are more determined than ever to make our case to the state for authorization that will allow our local community the option to help fund MDC. In November, the voters of Miami-Dade County chose to support this local option by an overwhelming 62%. Unfortunately, Amendment 8 did not receive enough votes to pass statewide. Now, we are going straight to the Legislature so the voice of Miami-Dade County voters can be heard.
Your volunteer efforts were invaluable then and will be again during the upcoming session of the Legislature. The only way we will be able to endure the severe budget cuts is by allowing our community to demonstrate its support for the College.
Our future depends on it. Together we can convince Tallahassee to respect the wishes of our community. We will keep you apprised of issues that affect College operations and ways that you can help as we draw closer to the Legislative session.