Money still on the minds of D204 leaders
By David Sharos For The Sun March 12, 2013 9:10PM
Updated: April 16, 2013 3:16PM
Money is on the minds of the Indian Prairie District 204 School Board.
Monday night, members continued to receive financial updates, following a report offered two weeks ago at its last meeting, as officials try to prepare for what are likely to be some challenging months ahead.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Jay Strang provided a list of assumptions, a financial forecast and so-called “austerity options” that will all impact the district in the months ahead as it begins to devise its 2014-2015 budget.
Strang reported there will be “no cost shift in the budget” related to pensions for either the 2014 or 2015 year and that, according to the Illinois State Board of Education, some funds are being increased.
“The ISBE is recommending that the general state aid per pupil remain at the $6,119 foundation level as well as increasing early childhood funding by $40 million,” Strang said. “Bilingual education has been proposed to increase by $11 million and there has been $10.5 million suggested to help fund state assessments and Common Core Standards.”
Strang also reported a recommendation by the ISBE calling for additional funding for school security and technology. At the same time, the state’s budget offers no new revenue sources, he said, and despite the suggested increases made by the ISBE, “the governor’s budget address includes $300 million of reductions in education.”
In terms of the district’s own financial forecast, revenues are expected to rise slightly over the next few years from just more than $287 million in 2013 including a combination of local, state, and federal funds to just more than $300 million in 2015. Expenditures estimated for the same period are $286.5 million to $300.5 million respectively.
Regarding the future, Strang said the district needs to continue to monitor the pension reform issue as well as its austerity measures if state funding continues to decline. The state’s budget is due to be completed by the end of May.
The district will approve its own budget this September.