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College looking at $600,000 reduction in county valuations PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 10:32

• Special to the Daily Leader
The Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Monday to close the 2009-10 budget year and hear reports about the 2010-11 budget and factors that will affect that budget.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, reported on an environmental study on land being donated to the SCCC/ATS Foundation. The land is located on west U.S. Highway 54. The study showed no evidence of solid waste or chemicals on the land or any environmental concerns on the property. The Foundation accepted the donation of the land and will turn the land over to the college at the July board meeting.
The administrative team continues to review current practices and modifications to the 2010-11 budget by using estimates from both the state and county.
At the state level, the community college operating grant is expected to increase by $138,983 above the 2009-10 school year, while the post-secondary aid distribution for the area technical school will decrease by $180,158 and the vocational capital outlay distribution will decrease by $13,184. In addition, there will be no change to the community college technology grant.
The college is estimating a 15 percent decrease in the county assessed valuation. With these estimates, the college would need to cut an additional $600,000 from its operating budget, and will attempt to avoid laying off employees. Dunn indicated that a budget proposal could be developed which would include a slight mill levy increase and use of their cash carryover to help with the deficit. The college has lowered its mill levy every year for the past five years. 
Dunn told the board that a hearing was held regarding the pending lawsuit that Dodge City, Pratt and Cowley County community colleges had filed against the Kansas Board of Regents regarding the funding distribution of post-secondary aid for career and technical education course. The three colleges also filed an injunction to prevent distribution of at least a portion of the fiscal 2011 post-secondary aid fund until the lawsuit is settled. SCCC/ATS could potentially lose more than $500,000. SCCC/ATS joined Kansas City Kan., Hutchinson and Highland community colleges as part of an intervention at the hearing.
“The real challenge is to settle the lawsuit and come up with an equitable funding method for all community colleges,” Dunn said. The Shawnee County District Court Judge should make his ruling in July.
Dale Reed, dean of educational services, gave a report on the concurrent enrollment program that allows high school students to take college classes. The college is making a concerted effort to educate not only the students, but the parents of high school students as well.
Each year, the college must provide a list of the high schools that are participating in the concurrent enrollment program, in addition to a CEP agreement, an implementation plan for professional development of instructors of CEP students and a student guide for CEP students.
In compliance with new state legislation, the board adopted a new policy that regulates smoking on campus. The college currently prohibits smoking inside its buildings, facilities and vehicles; however, the law now requires that smoking be prohibited within 10 feet of any building or facility and within 10 feet of an open window or any air intake of any building or facility.  
The college has created a brochure for parents outlining the CEP program and showing the financial savings if a student was to complete two years at a community college before transferring to a four-year college or university.
Dunn presented a cost comparison to the board comparing the difference in tuition between the Kansas universities and SCCC/ATS. Based on 15 credit hours the tuition at SCCC/ATS will be $600, compared to $3,433 at the University of Kansas, $3,186 at Kansas State University, $2,361 at Wichita State University, $1,807 at Emporia State University, $1,934 at Pittsburg State University and $1,517.25 at Fort Hays State University. These costs do not include special fees that vary from institution to institution.
Dunn also informed the Board that the college has received notification from the Board of Regents indicating that SCCC/ATS has been recognized as meeting the full funding level for achievement of the performance agreement goals agreed upon with the Board of Regents.
In other action, the board:
o Approved the employment of Donald Hayes, Biology instructor; and Kylee Harrison, Admissions coordinator;
o Accepted the resignation of Gerald Kail, Diesel Technology instructor; and
o Approved the bid from Cox Construction of Liberal to remodel the area technical school to house the Gas Compressor Technician program. Funds for the remodel are provided through a combination of grant funds from the Kansas Department of Commerce, the adult supplemental (business and industry) fund, and institutional funds reserved for capital improvements.
The final summer session begins Monday, July 5. 
The next All Saints Days, which are designed to assist incoming freshmen in enrolling for the fall semester, are Thursday, July 22, Tuesday, July 27; Tuesday, Aug. 3; and Friday, Aug. 13.
The next board meeting is Monday, July 19 to discuss the 2010-11 school year and authorize publication of the FY2011 operational budget.
The annual SCCC/ATS Foundation auction is set for Sept. 25. Individuals or businesses, who would like to donate a new or hand-crafted item for the auction, may call (620) 417-1131.

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