SBCCD Trustees Take Action on Part-Time Faculty Health Insurance
In the Community
In the Community
San Bernardino, CA – The San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD) Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Sept. 14 to back a legislative advocacy item that seeks direct state funding for health insurance of its part-time faculty.
The state approved a $200.49 million budget in 2022 for the program. Still, the present funding model burdens SBCCD with financial uncertainty. Currently, the district must front $13.2 million to offer health benefits to its 840 part-time faculty members and then wait for state reimbursement.
“We appreciate the state's commitment to the well-being of our part-time faculty. However, the current funding model needs improvement for us to fully achieve its advantages,” stated Dr. Stephanie Houston, chair of the SBCCD Board of Trustees.
The board is concerned about the obligation to pay for part-time faculty health insurance in advance, often waiting several months for potential reimbursement.
“This funding approach is akin to a state 'IOU.' We’re left in uncertainty about covering other operational expenses to keep our doors open and the lights on for our students," Houston explained.
District officials also highlighted another concern: the state's reimbursement might not always cover 100% since the program serves all 73 community college districts.
“Our request is not just about full reimbursement. We advocate for direct state funding for the Part-Time Faculty Health Insurance program,” commented SBCCD Chancellor Diana Z. Rodriguez. “We want to avoid the middle step that leaves our institution in financial limbo.”
Rodriguez emphasized, “Direct funding would be a game-changer for our community college district, alleviating financial pressure and ensuring our part-time faculty members are well taken care of without compromising our services to students.”
Chancellor Rodriguez is hopeful that state policymakers will consider SBCCD's recommendation and revise the funding process.
"Adopting this approach would provide both peace of mind and financial stability to community college districts like ours," she concluded.