Building Projects Funded Without Debt

2019-20 Budget Provides New Classroom Resources, Technology
Posted on 09/26/2019
Revenues by SourceThe Board of Education approved a $43.3 million spending budget for the 2019-20 school year with student programs at the forefront and building improvements being financed with existing fund reserves.

Total spending adds up to $43.3 million, which is approximately $1.3 million over projected revenues excluding contingency funds. The deficit is the amount used from reserves to finance capital projects that were completed this summer, including the Meadowbrook School renovation project and secure entrance enhancements at all schools. Using reserves for capital projects is like paying for home improvements with a savings account instead of financing with a loan.

students in a Meadowbrook classroom with new carpeting and cabinetry.
Students get to know each other on the first day of school in a Meadowbrook classroom. All of the classrooms received new carpeting and cabinetry and were re-painted over the summer. Much of the project costs are in the 2019-20 budget and were paid for with fund reserves.

Other capital projects planned for next summer include renovation at the junior high for a larger STEM lab/classroom, tuckpointing and building control software upgrades. 

Contingency funds of $750,000 also contribute to the budget deficit. These funds are sometimes tapped, such as for an emergency sewer repair this month at the junior high, but the funds are generally unused year to year.

Additionally, reserves are being used to fund a property tax assessment appeal being paid to Northbrook Court. This year’s budget includes $541,485, which is the last of three payments on the settlement. The settlement will improve property tax revenues in future years because the property owners have agreed not to file additional appeals.

Students will have new resources for social studies, with a new online textbook, Discovery Education, for grades 6-8 and a new textbook for grades K-5. The budget also includes the purchase of literacy resources for grades 6-8, and supporting resources for grammar and math. All students in four additional grades have personal iPads as part of the district’s Learning First initiative. Students in K, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 now have iPads to use throughout the day. Students in the remaining two grades, currently using laptops and excess iPads, will get them next year.

Salaries and benefits that support student learning account for 79 percent of the budget. The average salary increase for teachers was 3.6 percent while increases for administrative and support staff were an average of 2.5 percent.

Local property taxes comprise 85 percent of the district’s total revenues. While property owners’ tax bills fluctuate with assessments, the total amount the district collects is constrained every year by the Consumer Price Index and new developments within the district boundaries. The consumer price index is 2.1 percent. Federal, state and other local revenues make up the other 15 percent.

Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato provided a budget summary to the board. The complete budget document that is filed with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Expenditures by category
Revenues by Source