Trustees give green light to 2011-12 budget

Email this article 07/01/2011

SWTJC trustees adopted a $46.1 million budget for fiscal year 2011-2012, during their regular monthly meeting on June 30.

Dean of Instructional Services and Chief Financial Officer Hector Gonzales highlighted major items in the new budget during his presentation to the board.

Major cuts in funding include approximately $700,000 in reduced state funding for insurance and employee retirement benefits, along with an expected $400,000 reduction in state and federal grant funding.

The budget includes steps and increments for classified personnel and a 1.5% pay increase for all non-classified employees. Total cost of the salary increases is $211,000.

Gonzales also pointed out that the new budget reflects no change in the college’s current ad valorem tax rate of 13 cents per $100 valuation.

"We conservatively based this year’s projected revenues on 96.5% of our current enrollment," Gonzales said. "We did this mainly because of a decrease in prison enrollment that we know is coming because of state funding cuts, and a potential reduction in dual credit enrollment due to budget constraints area high schools are experiencing."

The budget presented by the administration had projected revenues of $469,592 less than projected expenditures, but board president Rodolfo R. Flores suggested the board tap the college’s unrestricted fund balance to make up the difference.

"We have more in our reserve than ever before and that would be my recommendation," Flores said.

Other trustees agreed and board member Victor Lopez made the motion to allow the administration to use $500,000 from reserves if needed to balance the new budget. The motion passed unanimously.

In other matters, the board approved adding one year of service to master’s, doctorate and allied health salary schedules.

Trustees also voted to allow the addition of a "hardship withdrawal" option to the college’s 403b plan and to endorse a resolution endorsing the college’s application for the Lumina Foundation Latino Student Success Grant.

The board also voted to join the newly formed Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT).

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