Lone Star College makes $14 million in budget reductions for FY 2020-21

The Lone Star College board of trustees met July 29 to discuss the system's upcoming budget. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Lone Star College board of trustees met July 29 to discuss the system's upcoming budget. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Lone Star College board of trustees met July 29 to discuss the system's upcoming budget. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lone Star College has begun budget discussions for its fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, highlighting almost $14 million in general reductions across the system due to additional expenditures and uncertainty caused by coronavirus.

LSC Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Mott said she is factoring in lower growth rates than average for the upcoming year and is asking for general reductions from the colleges because of a loss of state funding and student revenue. LSC is also factoring in less funding from the state in its proposed budget.

Mott said an assumption for the budget is based on an overall 10% decline in student credit hours for FY 2020-21 despite current enrollment numbers indicating an 8.5% decline.

"Historically, we have seen a 3%-4% annual growth rate on a long-term average, so lowering it to 2% is being more conservative in possible future growth," Mott said.

LSC Chancellor Stephen Head said the proposed budget is built on a worst-case scenario for the time being, but enrollment numbers are beginning to trend in the right direction.

In order to reduce expenditures for the budget, Mott said each college was asked to drop 5%, which totaled $13.9 million. The college system has also eliminated 50 vacant positions.

Among the major new expenditures for the year are $5 million for coronavirus personal protective equipment, sanitation and contingency funds, $948,000 for online instruction enhancements and around $1.8 million for new facility funding.

No action was taken on the presentation. The LSC board of trustees will meet to adopt the proposed budget and propose a tax rate Aug. 20. The tax rate will officially be adopted in September.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


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