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Budgets.

When I say the word “budget,” a few different things come to mind.

First, I think of the news budget, where everyone is given their story assignments in detail. These don’t concern me at the moment since it is summer and all.

And then there’s monetary budgets. I came to this conclusion around 3 a.m. – I need to devise a full budget for next year to watch my spending habits. I like the two S’s – shopping and Starbucks – a bit too much. So I need to figure out just how much I’m allowed to spend on those two things every month.

So if I set my limit to $100 a month on those two things, knowing me, I would probably spend about $40 of that on Starbucks (two Starbucks runs a week equals about $10, and then multiply that by 4), that leaves a maximum of $60 on other stuff (shopping, movies, all the other things I do that cost money).

The remaining money from my paychecks would go to paying for gas/insurance/food (assuming I finally get a car). I have to figure out just how much insurance is going to cost, and with rising gas prices…well, money will be tight. I’ll be a typical college student.

With the money I save over the summer from work, I should have some leeway (is that how you spell that?), though most of it will go into a savings account for my trip abroad to Italy next year — assuming that those plans don’t change.

I think this all sounds reasonable.

And then there’s the higher education budget deal that’s been going on in the legislature. I guess the legislators have come to a decision about what’s going to happen, and a lot of funding is going to K-12, including all-day kindergarten.

Here’s what I pulled from the RGJ Web site:

“Although most of the attention was given to the deals for public education, higher education lobbyists also were pleased with the deal.

‘We are pleased with the overall agreement that was reached today between the two houses of the Legislature and the governor,’ said James T. Richardson of the Nevada Faculty Alliance. ‘Especially, we are happy to see restoration of the full 2.5 percent of the merit pay pool, as well as the hold-harmless funding included and the increase in formula funding to 85.5 percent. The support shown for the transfer of the Pahrump service area and the partial support for DRI administration positions is also welcome news.'”

And here’s the short graf that was in the RJ about it:

“As part of the agreement, many of the budget cuts made to the Nevada System of Higher Education approved by Assembly Democrats were restored, including a 2.5 percent per year merit pool for professors that had been cut to 2 percent.”

And here’s the sentence that the Sun had about it:

“Both sides shared credit on more money for higher education.”

And because I searched hard enough, here’s what I found on the Nevada Appeal site…which I think is a lot more helpful than everything else I’ve found:

“For higher education, Raggio said, the deal makes the university system whole by restoring the cuts made by Gibbons to reduce spending when revenue estimates were decreased by the Economic Forum. It keeps the increased per-student formula funding proposed by Gibbons and provides more than $50 million in “hold harmless” funding to protect the budgets and programs at campuses where enrollment is below projections. In the case of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, enrollment is actually dropping.

And for professors who rely on the merit pool for increases in pay, the Assembly backed off its attempt to reduce the merit pool percentage from 2.5 percent to 2 percent this biennium only. That would have cut back the amount of money available to reward professors who perform well with a pay raise.”

If anyone cares to interpret what this means on a university and community level for me, please do.

Anyway, I need to get to work. Even though part of it is me being in charge of watching the channel 8 news to see if there’s an update on this standoff going on in Henderson.

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