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Lower enrollment, fewer state dollars force college budget cuts
by Bill Clough
Aug 24, 2012 | 912 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — At its regular meeting Aug. 16, the Coastal Bend College board of directors approved a $26.5 million budget for 2012-2013.

The final figures, following budget workshops and a first reading July 19, are lower than last year’s budget — exactly the same percentage drop as tuition revenues.

“There’s a lot of red ink in it,” CBC President Beatriz Espinosa told the board as she held up a 99-page report shortly before the board approved it unanimously.

“The cuts are across the board,” Espinoza says.

The lower figure, she explained, was the result of lower enrollment and a continued reduction of state funds which dropped 3 percent from last year.

Much of the savings stems from cutting back part-time hours and closely monitoring those that remain.

In addition, extra work is being assigned to some faculty members rather than assigning it to part-time help.

“Well, the obvious key is to increase our enrollment,” Board President Paul Jaure told the board but looking at board member Laura Fisher.

“Good,” she replied. “Go out there and rope them in.”

Espinoza partly attributes the lower enrollment to the lure of high-paying jobs associated with Eagle Ford Shale.

The board has scheduled two public hearings concerning its proposed tax rate for next year. The first was held Monday; the second is Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m.

CBC is asking for a tax rate of $0.17067 per $100 property valuation, up from last year’s rate of $0.168000. The new figure represents the highest increase the board can use without approval by an election.

If approved, the suggested tax rate would generate nearly $2 million in revenue for CBC in the next fiscal year.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.
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