Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Proposed D300 Budget Omits Uncertainties
The "knowns", according to Chief Financial Officer Susan Harkin include $8.8 million more income from property taxes but $2.4 million less from state and federal sources. The spending side shows $5.3 million more money going out including $1 million for new positions, $.8 million more for fringe benefits and, especially, $3.1 million more for debt interest.
The "ifs" in the tentative budget, however, include any teacher expense increases this year. "This is based upon last year's figures for salaries and benefits," said Harkin. Negotiations for this year's contract are currently in mandatory mediation.
Neither does the budget include any money to cover added contributions to teacher's pensions. The Legislature will meet for a one-day special session Friday to consider Illinois pension reform which may or may not involve offloading State pension obligations onto school districts.
Outside of that, "Operating funds is holding pretty steady," said Harkin, "which is pretty remarkable in this day and age." On the other hand, Harkin warned, the District needs to start looking at deferred building maintenance. Maintenance is currently about 2 percent of budget but Harkin said, "You can only neglect that so long before it effects you in the long run."
A hearing on the proposed budget is set for Sept. 24. You'll be able to see the proposed budget when it's posted here:
Classes opened in the district Monday with roughly 100 new teachers, according to D300's new Human Resources Director Eberto Mora. That was the number of new faces in old positions, however. Total staff increased by the equivalent of 15 full-time teachers, Mora said, to hold class sizes steady against increased enrollment.
In the pic: Where D300's money's expected to come from and where it's expected to go. On the expenditures chart, "tuition" refers to out-of-district expense for Special Ed students.