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State Budget Cuts: Impact on ACC

This post has been updated with information regarding SB1.

President’s Office, Spring 2011

Impact on Austin Community College District (ACC)

HB1 and SB1 would both deal a serious blow to Texas community colleges and, more importantly, to economic recovery in Texas. It is counter-productive to the state’s goals of closing the education gaps, producing a skilled workforce, and competing in the global marketplace. Less funding for community colleges will shut the door to higher education and opportunity for thousands of Texas families, while putting more funding responsibility on students and local taxpayers. Shortchanging community colleges is not good public policy.

Community colleges close education gaps and drive economic recovery.

  • Enroll the majority of Texas higher education students, serve 75% of all minority freshmen and sophomores, and offer the fastest-growing workplace credential – the associate degree.
  • Statewide enrollments are up 34% in the past five years. (ACC enrollments increased by 11,000 students in five years – 8,000 in the last two years.)
  • Lowest-cost provider of higher education to students and to the state.
  • Offer programs that make students college-ready, and educate and train the workforce.
  • 49% increase in degrees and certificates awarded since 2000.
  • Transfer students perform as well as or better than native four-year university students. ACC transfer students entering UT-Austin in fall 2009 earned an average 3.1 GPA after one year, compared with 3.02 for UT freshmen.
  • Produce 62% of all registered nurses and 84% of first responders.
  • Best way to produce an educated society, build a larger middle class, and reduce social services costs.

HB1 and SB1 would have a significant financial impact on ACC.

  • State funding to ACC has decreased from 41.6% in FY 2000 to 20.6% in FY2011.
  • Bill impacts include:
Impact HB1 SB1
Funding -19.6% -18.2%
Group insurance -73.6% -35.9%
Retirement allocation -57.3% -59.3%
Formula funding -4.6% -9.1%

ACC has planned and budgeted effectively.

  • ACC has a long-term Master Plan. The budget is tied to its four primary goals – meet enrollment targets, expand instructional capacity, enhance student success, and increase fiscal capacity.
  • ACC remains focused on student success and providing critical programs needed to support economic growth in Central Texas.
  • ACC is committed to avoiding reductions or lay-offs of faculty/staff positions because it must respond to growth demands in the eight-county service area.
  • ACC will honor commitments related to the new ACC Elgin Campus and the new ACC Hays Campus. Revenue from the recent HCISD and EISD annexations is dedicated to the new campuses in those communities.
  • While a tuition increase will be necessary, the college is dedicated to maintaining the lowest in-district tuition of all higher education institutions in our service area.
  • ACC is also exploring other options.
    • Implementing a personnel freeze
    • Increasing tuition and consideration of differential tuition for certain high-cost programs
    • Reviewing course limits
    • Reducing or eliminating courses with low enrollment and reviewing enrollment management to ensure efficiency
    • Course redesign
    • Reviewing elective waivers of tuition/fees
    • Reviewing technology, capital outlay, and deferred maintenance base funding
    • Launching ACC Innovations program in which faculty, staff, and students may recommend cost-cutting measures for continuous quality improvement

posted in: ACC Homepage Announcements, ACC Newsroom, Legislative Updates


20 Responses to “State Budget Cuts: Impact on ACC”

  1. Brad says:

    Timothy, if non-residents are paying college tuition they are actually helping ACC pay the bills.

    Whitaker,
    Dance, Art, and Music students, to name a few will flesh out their course load on mathematics, science, litrature, history, government and generate hundreds of dollars in additional tuition funds for ACC, but cut these liberal arts classes and these students may not enroll at all. If that happens then everybody loses.

  2. Timothy says:

    Stop in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

  3. Julie says:

    Capitalism at its best- if it doesn’t make us money cut funding!!! Education and healthcare are becoming the bottom of the totem pole in terms of priorities in this country- sad…

  4. Nathalie says:

    Whitaker,
    And how will cutting “unimportant” programs like the Arts be a good example for students? They can be just as educational as Math and Sciences.

  5. mike says:

    DR PHD,

    I just wanted to help you with some of your comments/questions. At major universities, such as TSU graduating with Honors are calculated using the following : 3.40-3.59 cum laude; 3.6-3.79 magna cum laude; and 3.80-4.00 summa cum laude. I’m glad you think our standards should be higher than theirs- does this mean you think we deserve a raise?
    The Honors program at UT requires maintaining a 3.5 GPA, yet within departments you can receive an Honor’s designation if you have a 3.0 GPA on department course work.

    As for tuition and your children, it sounds like you should start working on a vote to include where you live in an ACC district-it would be a great value for you and your children. If you contact ACC I am positive they will be excited to have someone in the community with your energy helping them to educate more students at such a great value.

    Wow parking does suck and I do tell my students they should protest. Of course I do not tell them to counterfeit parking passes.

    Gosh I wonder if you actually are a professor, or have a PH.D. Show yourself and stand up for your convictions, or, besides being a bad speller are you also a coward.

    J. Michael Gividen, MA, MEd
    Adj. Asst. Government professor
    ACC

  6. El Señor Bob says:

    Selling highly-valued property such as the Rio Grande campus could be a first step to recovery.

    Doubling parking permit fees might help pay for parking facilities.

    For the most cost saving, eliminating the requirement of excessively priced textbooks for students by substituting faculty-developed, course content delivered free to students over the intranet could help offset expected tuition increases.

  7. DR PHD says:

    Who moderates the comments? I post my opinion and the true can not be told in a society which is deemed freedom of speech. Not what is on our minds, but what they want to have to only say.

  8. DR PHD says:

    I find it rather amusing at this point. Professor’s use to have a TA. They use to be paid for developing their course work, when we write a book just for the students, since the suggested ones are dated ot just poorly presented. We do this on our own time. Now our boss wants us to share this with other professors who are to lazy to develop their own course study. The fact that a technician in the lab makes more than the professor who would be considered tenured. How do you like them apples students, plus a pay freeze from a few years prior. But oh yes we buy Highland mal, no parking for Rio Grande even after we built that ramp. It is all glaze in our doughnut holes. ACC is a mess. I think the students should protest. My kids live two blocks away from the in district line tuition. How ridiculous to have a bus pass when the routes blow. The honor society has a gpa of 3.2 or higher. I was shocked I thought it was 4.0. When a student told me they mentioned that to the chapter leader and was told a 4.0 is no fun. Not super kudos biach for all you flippin hard work. I threw a real desperation glance their way in passing in the hall. Look kids I reap where your hearts bleed. Stand up to this crap, get involved in the new order of the process of finding a new president. Why maybe one of you recent grads should take the reins and Whoa horsie to all these manure spreaders. What do you say any takers. Students the crap will only continue to roll down hill toward you. Aren’t you tired of paying to park at the meters, when you already paid for the pass. Hey why not take a photo of the pass and they change the color and laminate it. Do you know how many fake parking passes there are, oh maybe that is why we have to feed the bloody meter. WAKE up before the coffer burns you lips this morning. I hope to see protesters on every campus. Let’s stop this nonsense once and for all. We are on your side, lets unite Students and professors for one. Hats off, who is goign to throw their’s in the ring.

  9. Donna says:

    How about just charge the students more? Or cut out some administrative staff? Schools tend to be top-heavy anyway. How about charge for tutor services? If taxpayers could see the detailed budget, we could figure out what to cut.
    After all, the taxpayers (and the students) are the ones paying for the college, so let us have some say!

  10. ACC Staff says:

    Aaron, per Texas Education Code 130.122, the voters of the ACC District must authorize the maximum tax rate. In May 2003, ACC voters authorized a maximum tax rate for maintenance & operations of $0.0900 (9 cents) per $100 valuation. In that same election, the voters authorized a tax to support $99 million in bonds. This additional bond tax is currently $0.0051 (0.51 cents) per $100 valuation. The sum of the these two tax rates is the current ACC tax rate of $0.0951 (9.51 cents) per $100 valuation.

    Since the college’s maintenance & operations tax rate is currently at the voter-approved maximum of 9 cents, any future increase in the tax rate would require voter approval. Likewise, any additional tax supported bonds also would require voter approval.

    To see the college’s Board Policy on tuition rates, please visit http://www.austincc.edu/board/policies/g8.php.

  11. Susan says:

    Paul…I think your idea is exactly what we need. ACC could even tie the increase to homes over $250,000! That small an increase would do little damage to families!!!

  12. Hellllllooooooo? says:

    Anybody askin’ why we’er in this mess to begin with? Go and ask anyone who is currently in credit counseling and they’ll tell you they spent more than they had coming in. Like – d’uh. Our state leaders, at several levels, spent more than they had coming in. And when suddenly that “coming in” part shrinks rapidly… well, need I say more. Again, back to those in credit counseling – what would they say? They’d say we need to budget more, spend less, and cut out whatever isn’t necessary. End of story.

  13. Aaron says:

    Paul,

    I believe there were some legal stipulations that capped ACC’s property tax rate at its current level in the 1990s. I’m not sure the particulars or whether it can be circumvented, but that is surely a reason ACC’s out of district tuition is 4X what other districts are.

  14. Whitaker says:

    Makes sense.. Acc need to scale down instead of growing too fast. Sell the golf course at Riverside, Cut course like Human Services, Dance, Art, Music, Interpreting, silly small projects and other small programs. fire all the high paying faculty, hire the lower paying faculty. It’s the right way to budget

  15. monroe says:

    Have a bake sale…ACC like all institutions and American entities, they invest or spend more then they have…building new college additions (round rock for example) could of been posponed til it was more affordale…the decision makers are responsible and that should be the first place to look at when speaking of cuts!

  16. T. Smith says:

    Increasing property taxes is not the solution when many are losing their homes, the solution is either increasing taxes on small businesses stifling business growth, and/or begin working with corporations to release their enormous capital and begin hiring and doing R&D.

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs … not a consumer economy is the only reasonable solution to a budget deficit.

    Producers not consumers is the only real solution. This is exactly why China is outpacing the U.S. in it’s economic development. Investigate the devaluation of the $ to compete with China and become producers rather than merely consumers.

  17. Student Life says:

    Community College Day at the State Capitol is Feb. 2. We invite all ACC students to to meet legislators, share thoughts on HB1, and discuss how it will affect you. http://bit.ly/SP11-CCDay

  18. ACC Staff says:

    Thanks for your input, Paul. Just to clarify, the current ACC property tax rate is 9.51 cents per $100 valuation, not per $1,000.

  19. Paul says:

    I have to believe that another option that should be explored to raise revenue to replace what the state is taking away is to raise the ACC property tax rate. The statewide average is about 15 cents per $1,000 valuation, but our rate is only about 9.51 cents per $1,000. It seems reasonable to think the rate could be increased to 10 cents or 10.5 cents per $1,000 and minimally impact each property owner. How can this not be considered given the graveness of the budget situation?