U46 proposes balanced budget for 2013 that hinges on timing
By Emily McFarlan Miller email@example.com August 20, 2012 10:20PM
Updated: September 22, 2012 6:24AM
ELGIN — School District U46 will bring in $478.9 million total in revenue next year, according to its proposed 2013 budget. Meantime, it will spend $493.5 million total.
And that budget will balance at just under $416 million, according to Chief Operations Officer Jeff King.
It’s all a matter of timing, King explained.
“The biggest difference between last year’s budget and this year’s budget is we issued the working-cash fund bonds last year, so we ended up with a surplus on the net fund balances,” Director of Financial Operations Dale Burnidge said.
In fiscal year 2013, which started in July, the Elgin-based school district will spend down the money from the bonds it sold last year, King said. He estimated the 2012 budget will end with a $5 million surplus when it gets its final certified fund balances next month.
In addition to spending on projects for which those bonds had been approved, the district also has budgeted a $6 million increase in employee benefit costs, according to the presentation King and Burnidge made Monday to the board of education.
The contract approved this summer with the Elgin Teachers Association also raises the base pay for teachers by .75 percent this school year and allows “step and lane” pay increases, the presentation said. There is no significant change to the number of full-time employees this school year in the district.
Those increases in spending partly are balanced by an increase in the property taxes U46 will receive, from $283.8 million last year to $291.1 million in fiscal year 2013, Burnidge said.
Part of the reason for the $17 million drop in revenues over last year’s budget is continued cuts and delays in funding from the state, according to the presentation.
The state has reduced General State Aid payments this year by 11 percent, or $7.7 million, according to the presentation. That’s on top of last year’s reduction, which was 5 percent, or $3.5 million, Burnidge said.
And the district has budgeted only three of four quarterly categorical payments from the state for 2013, as those have been slow in coming, according to King. The state still owes U46 $7.8 million for fiscal year 2012.
Meantime, the district is keeping an eye on pension discussions by Illinois lawmakers, Burnidge said, but “so far it doesn’t look like anything is going to happen that is going to affect us this year.”
The school board will hold a public hearing on the 2013 budget at its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the U46 Educational Services Center, 355 E. Chicago St. The board will vote whether to adopt that budget at its meeting Monday, Sept. 24.