By EDDIE CELAYA
Pima Community College and other state community colleges will gain more flexible access to funds already raised.
SB 1322 passed the Arizona State House on March 21 by a vote of 39-18. There were three abstentions. The bill went to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk, where he signed it into law on March 24, 2016.
SB 1322, which was backed by the PCC Education Association and Arizona Community College Coordinating Council, allows the colleges to determine their Full Time Student Enrollment figures by using either a 5-year or 10-year average of enrollment.
It will also allow for weighted enrollments for students enrolled in career and technical education classes and programs, since those programs are more expensive than more standard curriculum.
Under the old expenditure limit formula, FTSE was determined by each college’s estimates of their enrollment.
The Arizona Tax Research Association, which opposed SB 1322, had insisted the colleges move away from estimation , due to over-reporting.
ATRA proposed using audited enrollment, but the college’s lobbying efforts convinced legislators of the plan’s infeasibility.
The signing of SB 1322 is a “major leap forward for the economic development of the state,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said.
“Pima Community College is grateful to Gov. Ducey, and to leaders in Southern Arizona’s business, education and academic communities for their support of an initiative that will help Arizona’s workforce be competitive in the rapidly changing 21st-century global marketplace,” said an official PCC press release.