District 202 approves $321 million FY22 operating budget
The District Board of Education approved a $321 million FY 21-22 operating budget in which projected revenues exceed expenses by about $3.3 million.
The Board approved the new fiscal plan at its August 16, 2021 regular meeting after holding a public hearing earlier in the meeting. Final budget figures changed a bit in the month since district administration presented the preliminary budget, as anticipated funding and expenses clarified.
The proposed FY 2022 budget will allow District 202 to maintain high-quality educational programs while continuing to develop and implement a responsible, sustainable financial plan, said Tony Arbogast, assistant superintendent for business and operations.
Arbogast said the proposed operating fiscal plan 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 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 2020, the most current year.
FINAL TOTAL REVENUES AND EXPENSES
District 202’s total 2021-22 budget expenses including debt service and capital projects are $358.3 million, down from $365.5 million last year. Last year’s number included about $23 million for the construction of the new Wallin Oaks Elementary School.
Total budget revenues are $357.8 million in 2021-22, up from $334.3 million last year.
The $466,000 deficit in the total budget is due to receiving Working Cash bond proceeds in FY21 for capital projects work being completed in FY22, as well as remaining expenses from Wallin Oaks Elementary School.
FINAL OPERATING BUDGET REVENUES AND EXPENSES
The final 2021-22 operating budget shows $321 million in expenses, up from $298.8 million last year.
The final 2021-22 operating budget shows about $324 million in anticipated revenues, up from $293.3 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.
This includes hiring 47 new certified staff, including staff for full-day kindergarten, Wallin Oaks Elementary School and as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSERS) grants.
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.
KEY BUDGET POINTS
As usual, salaries and benefits comprise about 79 percent of the preliminary projected 2021-22 operating expenses.
Salaries and benefits are expected to total about $248.9 million, which is up about 6 percent, or $13.1 million, over last year’s $235.8 million. Again, that includes salaries for 47 new certified staff.
The preliminary proposed figure includes:
- 3 percent raises for administration and non-union support staff
- Raises for both Association of Plainfield Teachers (APT) and Plainfield Association of Support Staff (PASS) members are budgeted per their respective contracts
- 3 percent increases in benefits
- A $1 million contingency for building-specific enrollment changes and special education needs
As well, school allocations remain flat and departments are funded to support department initiatives that were previously planned, otherwise remaining flat.
The proposed fiscal plan includes $5.6 million for assorted capital projects and a $1 million contingency for building-specific enrollment changes and special education needs, as has been done the last several years.
Finally, District 202 operates more efficiently than the state average in nearly every category, per the 202 state report card:
- Instructional spending per student -- $7,122 versus the state average of $8,582
- Operational spending per student -- $11,436 versus the state average of $14,492
- Pupil to Elementary Teacher Ratio – 19:1 students to every teacher, versus the state average of 18:1
- Pupil to High School Teacher Ratio – 23:1 students to every teacher versus the state average of 19:1 students
- Administrator to Student Ratio – 186 students to every administrator versus the state average of 171 for every administrator