District 211 2016 – 2017 Tentative Budget Available for Review

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budgetbook_postEach fiscal year, High School District 211 creates a budget for the upcoming school year. The tentative budget for the 2016-2017 academic year was approved by the Board of Education at its Aug. 18 meeting, and is available for public viewing on the District website and at local libraries.  In accordance with School Code, the budget is available for public review for 30 days, and following a public hearing at its Sept. 22 meeting, the Board will vote to adopt the plan for the upcoming year. All school districts must finalize and approve a budget no later than Sept. 30.

The goal of the tentative budget is to have a conservatively planned and balanced budget, meaning expenditures do not exceed revenues in each of the main operating funds, as outlined by the State Board of Education. The budget also outlines funding for current and future District-wide capital improvement projects. This year’s tentative budget was built on the following parameters:

  • A zero percent levy increase from the previous year;
  • A decrease in expenditures;
  • And no plans to issue debt to pay for capital improvement projects, which are currently in the fourth year of a five-year capital plan.

“The tentative budget is one that aligns with the District’s strategic plan,” said Lauren Hummel, chief operating officer at District 211. “It includes planned budget reductions, includes revenue that reflects the recent approval of a flat levy, and allows the District to optimize its debt management strategies.  Most importantly, it supports the needs of students by allocating the majority of our resources to the instructional program of the District.”

Overall, revenue for the 2016-2017 is projected at $242.6 million and is aligned with the District’s strategic priorities. Total revenue is slightly down by .2 percent due to timing of federal aid payments last year and higher than expected budgeted tax receipts for prior levy years. This is uncommon and was not budgeted for this year. Additionally, expenditures are down from last year by 1.2 percent, or $13 million, due to planned budget reductions and a decrease in capital spending.

The District is projected to have expenditures in excess of revenues, or a planned deficit, of $11.4 million due to the planned spending of reserves for capital projects and debt repayment.  The final payment on bonded debt will be next year, and the District is working toward being debt free in the future.

“Expenditures for the tentative budget are less than they were in total for the prior year,” Hummel said. “The tentative budget includes the planned use of existing resources to fund capital improvements and required life safety work without the need to issue debt.”

District 211 also plans to use existing reserves to pay down the unfunded liability amount with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), which will save the District future employer costs and provides the opportunity of further saving through investment earnings made by IMRF.  Overall, Fiscal Year 2017 total expenditures are less than Fiscal Year 2016 expenditure budget.

Despite a decrease in revenue, no instructional programs have been changed or altered, and will continue to expand and improve. Additionally, the District plans to optimize debt management, continue budget efficiencies, enhance academic programs, and budget surplus funds for future capital projects. Future projects include renovation in bathrooms and locker rooms original to the buildings, two kitchen renovations, mechanical equipment replacements, roof replacements at all schools, and outdoor facility replacements.

A public hearing and vote for final approval and adoption of the tentative budget will take place on Sept. 22 at the G.A. McElroy Administration Center, 1750 S. Roselle Rd. To view the proposed budget, please visit the District 211 website.