Howard College board to ponder state funding

Howard College trustees will get an update on just how much a decline in state financial aid will effect the community college district when they hold their monthly meeting at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the student union building's Tumbleweed Room.Just how much — or how little — money the state will provide this coming budget cycle has been a matter of intense interest to college officials the past several months.While the latest news coming out of Austin certainly can't be described as good, at least officials are getting a firmer idea on just how much money they'll receive.Howard College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks said they expect to receive close to $2 million less in state aid during the next 12 months. Howard will receive $1.5 million less from the state, while SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf faces a $425,000 reduction in state aid.Still up in the air is just how much less the state will contribute to college employee health insurance this coming year, Sparks said.