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College board of trustees approve 2019-2020 budget, including salary increases

Given the rise in COVID-19 cases statewide and in the SWTJC service area, all Fall 2020 Academic and Transfer courses will be offered virtually or remotely via Zoom, Teams, or Canvas Conference. These include classes originally scheduled as regular, in-person face-to-face. Technical Program classes will meet virtually for lecture and meet in-person for hands-on labs, observing safety and social distancing procedures.

College board of trustees approve 2019-2020 budget, including salary increases

SWTJC trustees adopted a balanced operating budget for the 2019 fiscal year during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday (June 20) in Uvalde.

Before the regular meeting, trustees met in a budget workshop to go over the proposed budget in more detail.

The fiscal year 2019-2020 budget is balanced at $57,426,722 with a contingency fund above $500,000.

“Included as part of this budget are significant amounts that will allow us to make additional progress on our deferred maintenance issues, as well as increases for technology,” said SWTJC President Dr. Hector Gonzales.

According to Gonzales the approved budget incorporated the following salary increases faculty, three-step increase; professionals, two-step increase; clerical, four-step increase; maintenance, three-step increase; daycare, three-step increase; foodservice, three-step increase; and security, three-step increase.

During the meeting, board members approved a Dual Credit Memorandum of Understanding and Early College High School Memorandum of Understanding between SWTJC and school districts.

Trustees acted on authorizing SWTJC President to sign a dual credit and early college high school memorandum of understanding, which would establish a new partnership with a new school district.

In other matters, Margot Mata, vice president of student services reported on summer one enrollment.

According to Mata, summer one enrollment was down approximately 2.7 percent from a year ago, while summer two numbers are up from last year.

“Registration for the second summer session is steady, and we are currently above the reported enrollment for last year,” said Mata.

Steve Martinez, the college registrar, reported a 14 percent increase in credit hours for summer two from a year ago.

Martinez also informed the board of the increase in contact hours and headcount for the summer two session from the last year.

In his president’s report, Gonzales updated the board on a multitude of topics including the Texas Legislative Session in Austin.

According to Gonzales, the final appropriations included a $67.8 million increase to all community colleges, for SWTJC that represents $16,925,420 for the biennium, which translates to an increase of $994,832 for each year.

On the property tax side, the legislature exempted community colleges from the lower voter-approved rate (formerly the rollback rate). Our voter-approved rate remains at eight percent.

On policy, the legislature approved SB25 - relating to measures to facilitate the transfer, academic progress, and timely graduation of students in public higher education.

The bill requires a report on nontransferable credit, requires dual credit students to file a degree plan after 15 semester credit hours, and require each college to develop at least one recommended course sequence for each certificate or degree plan.

College trustees approved to cancel the July board meeting due to no item requiring the board’s attention.