More budget challenges ahead for GPC
On the heels of $25 million in cuts, Georgia Perimeter College, already struggling to regain financial footing, will again have to cut — this time $1.6 million, or 3 percent of their budget.
According to Beverly James, GPC’s assistant director of media relations, the cuts are required to come from all state agencies per Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. She said it was unclear what exactly will be cut to make up that 3 percent.
Earlier this summer, GPC was forced to cut 282 employees — 26 from the Newton County campus — following the initial cuts required.
However, in addition to a cut in state funding, the school could see less in tuition fees as well. The Board of Regents instituted a new requirement for learning support students, creating a cutoff score for reading and math. Those students who fall below a score of 78 in reading, a 60 in English and/or a 40 in math must take learning support classes at a technical college before attending the college.
This could mean many students will face rejection from GPC if they need too much assistance in those areas. Less students, of course, means less tuition money for the school, and with tuition and fees making up much of the school’s revenue, this could affect the budget even more drastically.
In an effort to save money, the school elected not to add the word “state” to their name, a name change that was approved in May of this year. James said the decision to keep the school as GPC is strictly financial.
“GPC doesn’t have the money to change the name of the college on all signage and buildings, letterhead, business cards, etc.” she said in an email. “The Board of Regents met last week and decided to rescind an earlier approval to add the word ‘state’ to the college’s name.”
In spite of the dire predictions, GPC campuses continue to operate as usual, with many students starting classes next week.
While it is still unclear how the college got into such poor financial shape, an audit is scheduled to be released later this month which may shed some light onto that issue.