Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) and a majority of fellow lawmakers approved the Nassau Community College budget of $189,472,552 for fiscal year 2008 by a vote of 16-2. Legislators, in conjunction with college officials, were able to reach agreement on reducing the proposed $166 tuition increase to $124. The budget will raise taxes by an estimated $3.70 per household, while tuition will cost $3,434 per year.
The budget is a 5.4 percent increase over last year’s budget of $179.77 million. This year’s budget is an increase of $9,699,406 over the fiscal 2007 budget, with approximately $7.05 million in personnel and fringe benefits and $2.65 million in OTPS expenses.Of that increase, $3 million is due to new initiatives being pursued by the College and an additional $1.3 million to fund the increased costs of energy.The increase in the total budget before the new initiatives and increased energy costs is 3.05% when compared to the prior budget.
“After concerns were raised by members of the legislature, we were able to reduce the tuition increase by $42 and still deliver the quality education students have come to expect from Nassau Community College,” Jacobs said.
The New York State budget increased state aid to $2,675 per full-time equivalent student (FTE).This is a $150 improvement over the current year, but is a relatively low increase on average over the last five years.As a full opportunity college, NCC is in theory entitled to receive state aid up to a maximum of 40 percent, which would mean approximately $76 million for that commitment to be honored.In fact, NCC will only receive about $48 million.
“I am also asking that the college give monthly financial updates to the County’s Office of Management and Budget and the Legislature’s Office of Independent Budget Review,” Jacobs said. “I believe this kind of periodic review will benefit all.”
Jacobs, who said she will also be filling two vacancies on the College Board of Directors, added that the legislature will be looking to form a sub-committee dedicated solely to lobbying the State for more aid to the college and to Long Island School Districts, in general.