The Alamo Colleges District board voted July 15 to approve a $503 million budget for the 2023-24 academic year.

The budget includes funds to expand the district’s high school equivalency and diploma program as well as an initiative that prepares high school students for college with boot camps, refreshers and other activities.

ACD’s new budget also increases investment in the district’s career services and completion outcomes program, and adds two mental health counselors, 24/7 mental health counseling availability and five case managers to meet growing demand for such services.

Additionally, the budget contains a 6.5% market rate pay adjustment for faculty and staff, and a 6.5% market adjustment in stipends to fill and retain high-wage, high-demand positions. The new budget also features updates to the district’s living wage and a $2,000 minimum market increase.

ACD officials said the budget will support 80 new full-time faculty members expand the AlamoPromise program to 50-plus private, parochial and charter schools as well as home schools in Bexar County, targeting an additional 575 learners as Promise scholars.

ACD officials said they are grateful for the state’s $683 million increase in funding for community colleges across Texas. District officials also lauded the Texas Legislature for overhauling the community college funding model to focus more on four student-centered outcomes.

“This historic funding supports the students we serve at the Alamo Colleges District and provides an investment in creating the workforce of the future,” ACD Chancellor Mike Flores said in a statement. “It will allow us to enhance our already robust systems and programs to aid our current students on their success journeys and to implement new and enhanced innovations for future students, with a focus on our targeted populations.”