Community Colleges affected by state budget

BIG SPRING -- Community colleges were assigned a $19 million increase since the 2015 session, which Howard College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks says should make students feel confident.

“The overall message is: there’s a lot of support for community colleges in Texas,” said Dr. Sparks.

This message could be confusing, as it still means an annual decrease of about 42 thousand dollars for the next two years.
Sparks says the decrease is manageable, given what the state is dealing with.

“The State Legislatures and again, it’s a tight fiscal situation for our state, and they were having to deal with lots of different budget needs, not just community colleges," Dr. Sparks said.

Dr. Sparks says with Texas legislature approving the budget, they're waiting on the governor's signature, but Howard College can begin to work on their budget for the 2017-2018 academic year.

And there's a positive note for SWCID SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, located in Big Spring.

“We actually saw an increase for SWCID $675,000 a year and that will allow us to address some longstanding needs on that campus, relative infrastructure and program needs,” added Dr. Sparks.

She says the college will be working on the budget for the next three months, and will have it ready for approval by the end of August.
Governor Abbott has until June 18th to decide to sign or veto the budget, or to put part of it in special session.