Northwest Herald

D-300 budget $6.3M in red

Monday, August 30, 2010

CARPENTERSVILLE – Next month, the District 300 school board likely will give final approval to a fiscal 2011 budget that calls for $6.3 million in deficit spending.

After approving $9.3 million in cuts already for the next year, district officials said the school board would need to consider more reductions for fiscal 2012.

The next scheduled meeting of the school board’s Educational Program Review Technique Committee, which could discuss the next level of cuts in the district is Wednesday.

“I know because of the magnitude of these budget deficits, most likely we’ll be looking at entire programs and services,” District 300 Superintendent Ken Arndt said.
“The number is just too great to shave a little here or there from the district.”

The largest part of this year’s approved reductions came from laying off 114 teachers for a savings of $3.9 million.
However, teachers this summer rejected a $2.2 million concessions package offered by the school board.

The projected ending balance of all funds for next year is $3.1 million, down from $12.2 million at the beginning of fiscal 2010.

Like all Illinois school districts, Carpentersville-based District 300 has been juggling its own operating budget cuts on the heels of the state budget crisis.

As of early August, the state owed District 300 $6.5 million for fiscal 2010.

But even assuming that those funds are received in the future, the district still will report a $2.8 million operating fund balance deficit.

That accounts for the district overspending that amount in its education fund this year, mostly on employee salary and benefits.

Although fiscal year-end operating funds were about $3 million higher in the 2008-09 school year, that’s a big difference from 2003-04, when end operating funds were at a $31.6 million deficit.

Next year’s budgeted $6.3 million deficit includes adding 25 teachers and 24 paraprofessional staff members at a cost of $1.7 million.

The $194 million operating budget will be up for a public hearing and approval Sept. 27 before the regular school board meeting.

The District 300 fiscal 2011 budget is available for review at www.d300.org.