The Angelina College Board of Trustees approved a preliminary 2019-20 tax rate and budget with a 3% across-the-board salary increase for all full-time faculty and staff.

AC President Michael Simon said the budget is balanced at $27,618,541, which is $436,654 less than the 2018-19 budget of $27,181,887.

The board voted to decrease the 2019-20 tax rate to $0.17095 — 5.6% of a tax break from the 2018-19 rate of $0.180992. The decrease comes from a new interest and sinking rate of $0.028194. The maintenance and operating rate will stay the same at $0.142764.

The board will hold a public hearing on the tax rate soon. It will be announced in The Lufkin Daily News.

Simon also recognized several groups for helping make the recent College Night happen.

“We met with about 30 community leaders and pastors in North Lufkin this summer to have lunch and talk about the college,” Simon said. “One of the ideas that came from that night was to have a college night in North Lufkin for that community to come together, learn about the college and maybe sign up for classes.”

The event was held Thursday at J.D.’s Center of Hope, and several students ended up signing up for classes. Simon said they hope to continue to host events like this.

He also recognized Diana Throckmorton, dean of the School of Arts and Education, for ushering in a program to provide free textbooks to students in the School of Arts and Education.

“We’d heard a lot from students about the cost of textbooks,” Simon said. “They stepped up to find these online resources. … It was a lot of work for those instructors.”

The program probably saved AC students over $200,000, Simon said. The School of Science and Math has also embraced this initiative, although they will not be 100% free, Simon said.

The board also approved a bid for athletic transportation from Tri-City Charter, an extension of an interlocal agreement of property and liability insurance from the Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Services, a resolution to extend a bank depository contract with Southside Bank, and additional continuing education fees for the Community Services Division.

The next regular board meeting will be on Sept. 9.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.