Spending Plan Funded By County Taxpayers Helps ‘Jewel Of Rockland County’ Offer An Array Of Programs

New City, NY (July 11, 2018) – Rockland County legislators voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the 2018-2019 Rockland Community College budget, more than 26 percent of which is supported by county taxpayer dollars.

“Rockland Community College continues to play an important role in helping everyone from newly-graduated high school students pursuing their associate’s degree to older adults seeking new career skills to obtain the education they need to succeed,” Legislature Chairman Toney L. Earl said. “RCC continues to evolve its programming to meet the needs of the fast-moving world in which we now live, and frankly, it’s a bargain, making it more accessible than ever to those seeking to further their education.”

Under the approved spending plan, the county’s portion of RCC’s $66.8 million budget will increase by about 1.76 percent, or about $300,000, to a total of about $17. 5 million.

Tuition will increase by about 3.4 percent, or about $162, to about $4,747 for full-time students. Part-time students will see an increase of about 3.6 percent, or $7 per credit hour, paying just under $199 per credit.

Increases of about 4.10 percent due to salaries and benefits costs, along with contracted services, are boosting expenses, but some salary savings will be seen due to job vacancies, according to representatives of RCC who appeared before the Legislature’s Budget & Finance Committee on June 26.

RCC’s rental costs will increase because the college will open a new Hospitality & Culinary Arts Center in Nyack in the fall. Described by RCC as “state-of-the-industry teaching kitchen,” it will accommodate 20 students and include a “pop-up” student-operated restaurant; a tiered amphitheater with demonstration kitchen for lectures, presentations, tastings, cultural events and catered events; and offer accredited degree programs and career training programs for veterans, minorities and the unemployed.

The rent for the location will cost about $585,000, but 44 percent, or $257,400 will be reimbursed by the state.

Tuition accounts for about $24.4 million of RCC’s budget, or 36.57 percent, and the college has worked to maintain and increase its number of full-time-equivalent students. FTEs help bring in state aid, which accounts for $17.14 million in the coming academic year’s budget, up from about $16.81 million in the 2017-18 budget.

RCC estimates there will be 4,780 FTEs in the 2018-19 year, up from 4,771 in the 2017-18 academic year, which will boost state aid. Additionally, the state is increasing its aid by about $100 per FTE in the coming year.

The Legislature also voted unanimously to adopt the 2018-19 Budget for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, which recruits seniors age 55 and older for various volunteer opportunities, from tutoring children and adults and delivering meals to people who are homebound to teaching English to immigrants and assisting with independent living services to local residents.

The budget totals about $440,000, including about $318,000 from county taxpayers. The program, based at RCC, typically provides services to more than 100,000 residents annually, with volunteers logging more than 60,000 hours with an estimated monetary value of $1.69 million.

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