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TSPR

Strayhorn to review Alvin Community College

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn will conduct a Texas School Performance Review of Alvin Community College (CC), beginning October 2003, with the final report expected for release in spring 2004.

Alvin CC President Rodney Allbright and the board of trustees requested the review and agreed to pay 25 percent, or $37,500, of the estimated $150,000 review cost.

Alvin CC has a higher tax rate than the statewide average for community colleges and faces severe budget cuts due to the slowing economy and a possible loss of some state funding.

"Unfortunately, college administrators, along with the rest of the state, must tighten their belts during these tough economic times," Strayhorn says. "Alvin Community College is no exception to this rule, and I plan to help the college do more with less in order to help it reach its full potential."

AWARDS

Texas Fiscal Officers' Academy nabs national award

In March 2003, the Texas Fiscal Officers' Academy (TFOA), a professional development program that grooms state agency fiscal officers, received one of only two awards given this year by the National Association of State Comptrollers for Outstanding Projects in State Financial Management.

Established in 2002 and modeled after the Comptroller's highly successful Information Technology Academy, TFOA is a joint training effort of the Legislative Budget Board, the Office of the Governor, the Employees Retirement System, the State Auditor's Office and the Comptroller's office.

"Now other states have the opportunity to see what Texas has done and perhaps model the program in their states," says Ken Welch, director of the Comptroller's Fiscal Management Division. Welch serves on the TFOA's Steering and Curriculum Focus Group Committees.

For more information about the academy, visit TFOA's Web site, www.window.state.tx.us/fm/tfoa/.

TSPR

Comptroller identifies savings for Marlin ISD

A comprehensive Texas School Performance Review (TSPR) of Marlin Independent School District (ISD) outlined 50 recommendations that could save taxpayers more than $1.8 million over the next five years.

"My TSPR team found that Marlin ISD faces some serious challenges," Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn says. "In 2001-02, only 61.8 percent of students passed all sections of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills, placing the district among the bottom five districts in the state.

"If implemented, these recommendations will ensure the district and, most importantly, the students of Marlin ISD a bright future."

The full text of the Marlin ISD performance review is on the Comptroller's Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/tspr/marlin/.

SALES TAX

July sales tax allocations top $305 million

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn sent $305.8 million in monthly sales tax payments to Texas local governments in July 2003.

Strayhorn sent sales tax rebates of $208.5 million to 1,116 Texas cities, $18.7 million to 121 Texas counties, $8.4 million to 78 special purpose taxing districts and $70.3 million to Texas' six metropolitan transit authorities and two city transit departments.

July sales tax rebates are up 1.5 percent compared with July 2002, but fiscal year-to-date sales tax allocations are down 1.7 percent compared with the same period in 2002.

"Unfortunately, for the first time in history, we are going to have back-to-back losses in sales taxes--that's two years running," Strayhorn says.