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New District 202 FY 19 operati...

New District 202 FY 19 operating budget ahead by $6.9 million

Aug 20, 2018

District 202 expects to end the 2018-19 fiscal year with about $6.9 million more in operating revenues than expenses, thanks in part to the new state education funding formula, and conservative fiscal planning and operations.

The Plainfield District 202 Board of Education approved the new FY 19 budget at its August 20, 2018 regular meeting.

The new anticipated operating surplus is about $700,000 less than when the proposed budget was published in June because of additional staffing expenses, technology projects and changes to grants, said Rick Engstrom, assistant superintendent for business and operations.

The new “evidence based” state education funding formula sends more money to districts with greater financial need. It is expected to increase District 202’s state funding after years of declining and unreliable state support.

District 202 had to significantly cut staff and reduce operating expenses from 2009-2012 to save about $45 million in part because of the state’s education funding problems.

Nor does District 202 plan to “prorate” any state funds for the first time in several years. Prorating is the practice of budgeting for less state revenue than what the district is due.

BY THE NUMBERS

The 2018-19 operating budget as approved shows $283.5 million in anticipated revenues, up from $253.6 million last year. The $30 million increase resulted from the district under budgeting anticipated revenues last year because of state funding issues in recent years.

The approved 2018-19 operating budget shows $276.6 million in expected expenses, up from $264.2 million last year.

The operating budget pays for all daily operating expenses including salaries and benefits, which comprise about 79 percent of the Operating Budget this year.

The State of Illinois considers the Education, Operations and Maintenance, Transportation, Working Cash, IMRF and Tort funds together as the “Operating Budget” to assess and rate school districts’ financial health.

District 202’s total 2018-19 budget including debt service and capital projects is $312 million, up from $302 million last year, or 3.2 percent. Total revenues are expected to be $313.6 million in 2018-19, up from $286.5 last year, or 9.5 percent.

KEY BUDGET POINTS

The new FY 2019 budget will allow District 202 to maintain high-quality educational programs while continuing to develop and implement a responsible, sustainable financial plan.

It will also:

  • keeps property taxes as low as possible
  • is balanced
  • maintains “Recognition” status (the highest possible ranking) on the State Board of Education’s Financial Profile. District 202 has received Recognition status in 2016 and 2017. Engstrom said he expects to earn Recognition status again this year.

Anticipated 2018-19 operating expenses are up about $12.4 million or about four percent over 2017-18 expenses.

Most of the increase is due to salaries and benefits which comprise about 79 percent of the operating budget. 2018-19 salaries and benefits are expected to total about $215.8 million, which is up about 1.3 percent, or $25.5 million, over the 2017-18 adopted budget for salaries and benefits

The budget includes 2.5 percent raises for administration and non-union support staff plus an additional amount of between .5 percent and 1.5 percent based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Certified staff raises are budgeted at an average of 2.75 percent plus a .5 percent increase to base pay, per the contract with the Association of Plainfield Teachers (APT).

Support staff raises are budgeted at 2.25 percent, per the contract with the Plainfield Association of Support Staff (PASS).

The 2018-19 budget essentially maintains staffing, service and building budgets at current levels, but includes funds to hire 16 paraprofessionals. It does not include funding for any major new initiatives, programs or capital expenses.

The budget also includes a $1 million contingency for building-specific enrollment changes and special education needs, as has been done the last several years.

It also reflects a 2 percent increase in health care costs.