Friday, September 21, 2012
D158 Board Approves $81 Million Budget
One obvious uncertainty involves teachers salaries, still unsettled after months of negotiations. The budget includes a two percent increase for teacher expense this year but District CFO Mark Altmayer called that "a placeholder" until a final contract is approved. Huntley Education Association teacher's union members rejected a proposed pact last week but its terms were never disclosed. Negotiators met again this week but if a new agreement was reached it hasn't been reported yet. Teachers wearing green shirts attended Thursday's budget hearing but none took the podium for or against the new budget, nor, for that matter, did anyone else.
Some of the two percent penciled-in increase has already been used up, anyway. The District's already hired more teachers than last year to handle increasing enrollment.
The other big asterisk is State education aid. For several years now D158's budgets have been predicated on receiving only half the money the State Board of Education's promised to pay. So far, the full amount's always come through, albeit about six months late lately.
Operating expenses are expected to run $3.9 million more than last year. What's important to District taxpayers is the new budget includes a tax levy up $1.8 million over last year. The Board paid the 2011-12 year's similar levy increase, however, with, in effect, money they hadn't expected to get from the State but received after all. The hope is they'll be able to do it again with enough left over to make this year's budget balance after all.
D158's new budget with exegesis is located here: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=32919053