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D. 202 approves FY ‘21 budget with more COVID-19 costs

District 202 expects to see a little less money this year than first projected thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The District 202 Board of Education at its September 28, 2020 regular meeting approved the FY 2020-21 budget which shows about $12,000 less in total budget net revenues (including all funds) than what was expected when the proposed budget was published in July.

POWER POINT AS PRESENTED

The budget as approved also shows about $203,000 more in total budget net expenses, largely due to the pandemic.

Those costs include $2.4 million more for pandemic-related safety supplies and the initial $777,000 debt payment for nearly 17,000 more laptops bought this spring to help students with remote learning.

All told, the final total budget including all funds shows a $6,143,833 deficit. The shortfall jumps to $29.7 million when including construction costs for Wallin Oaks, the district’s 18th elementary school now being built.

District officials had projected the 2020-21 budget revenues to fall short of expenses earlier this summer because of costs associated with the pandemic.

The district may dip into fund balances or possibly decrease staffing costs through normal attrition to reduce or eliminate the projected operating deficit.

Despite the shortfalls, the approved budget will still allow District 202 to maintain high-quality educational programs while continuing to develop and implement a responsible, sustainable financial plan.

District officials said the final fiscal plan also:

  • keeps property taxes as low as possible
  • maintains “Recognition” status (the highest possible ranking) on the State Board of Education’s Financial Profile.

District 202 earned “Watch” status in 2012 – the lowest state ranking – but reached the highest status, “Recognition” in 2016. It has enjoyed Recognition status ever since. District 202 scored a “3.9” out of a possible “4” in 2019, the most current year.

FINAL TOTAL BUDGET REVENUES AND EXPENSES

District 202’s total approved 2020-21 budget including debt service and capital projects is $365.4 million, up $39.5 million from $325.9 million last year, or 12.1 percent.  However, construction of the new Wallin Oaks Elementary School accounts for $23.1 million of the increase.

Total revenues are expected to be $335.7 million in 2020-21, up $8 million from $327.7 million last year, or 2.4 percent. Revenues also include a $1.4 million state technology grant used to offset some of the cost of the new student laptops for remote learning.

FINAL OPERATING BUDGET REVENUES AND EXPENSES

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.

The final 2020-21 operating budget shows $293.4 million in anticipated operating revenues, up $6.3 million from $287.1 million last year, or about 2.2 percent.

The final 2020-21 operating budget shows $297.8 million in expected operating expenses, up $11.8 million from $286 million last year or about 4.1 percent.

 

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