Lincoln County received some good news Tuesday with a decision by the legislative Emergency Board to send Oregon Coast Community College $320,000.
“We were working to correct a timing problem,” explained Representative David Gomberg. The federal CARES Act provided funding for community colleges and students hard-hit by the Covid crisis. Those colleges received money based on the number of students, with smaller schools receiving a minimum of $500,000.
“Oregon Coast became an independent accredited college in March. But the database used to allocate funds still had us affiliated with Portland Community College. We got $180,000 of per-student money, but not the half million minimum. And it was darned disappointing that we were the only school in Oregon shorted.”
Representative Gomberg, working through the Coastal Caucus and with the strong support of Senator Arnie Roblan and Representative Caddy McKeown were able to add the funding correction to a package of measures investing Oregon CARES Act dollars around the state by the Emergency Board. The “E Board” is a special legislative committee empowered to make financial decisions when the full legislature is not in session.
Birgitte Ryslinge, OCCC President said the funding will bring critical, direct support to students. “The $320,000 will make a huge and impactful difference to Lincoln County students and to the college. It could not have come at a better time. Many of our students have lost work, many have found themselves caring for young children as schools and childcare facilities closed across the county. The students and staff of Oregon Coast Community College thank Representative Gomberg and the rest of the E-Board for their support in helping us correct this funding oversight.”
“Our retirees, our small businesses, our families and kids have been hard hit these past five months”, said Gomberg. “I was pleased to bring some good news home from Salem. OCCC deserved to be treated just as well as any other accredited college in Oregon. Our students needed that support. But because our accreditation is new, we got overlooked. It took a lot of conference calls and zoom meetings, but I’m very pleased to say we got it fixed.”