www.cusd200.org September 15, 2017
Board Meeting Highlights
September 13, 2017 at Hubble Middle SchoolAt their meeting Wednesday night, the Board continued several important discussions connected to their ongoing budget and facility planning efforts.Board Approves 2017-18 Budget
The development of the 2017-18 Budget was a unique experience for the Board and staff given the uncertainty with State funding until just two weeks ago. While the new State Education Funding Formula will direct additional revenues to the District, the Board still made some reductions, by choice, to ensure that the District is able to allocate a significant amount of money to high-priority facility projects.
2017-18 Budget Highlights include:
- Total revenue from the State of Illinois, close to $19 million, is $681,600 more than last year. The District has started to receive some State funds for the current school year. While we are still owed a little more than $3 million from last year, we are hopeful that back payments and future revenues will continue to flow from the State given the passage of the new funding formula.
- Expenditures on high priority capital projects (roofing and flooring) is approximately $3 million, which is an increase of $2 million from the prior year.
- Deferred expenditures including the hiring of 2 vacant administrative positions ($174K), Drivers Education simulators ($162K) and purchase of new student information system ($270K) allowed for the increased allocation to facility projects.
- A 1.5% decrease in purchased services, 4.5% decrease in supplies and 2.4% decrease in out-placed tuition from the prior year's Education Fund budget have also allowed for an increased allocation to high priority facility projects.
- While there are contractual salary increases for teachers and support staff, overall salary expenditures have remained relatively flat since 2010.
This is the 8th consecutive year that the Board has approved a balanced budget. Achieving a balanced budget with a $2 million increase in spending for facility projects was not easy, but it was a priority of the Board.
Board Narrows Down Early Learning Solution and Financing Option
At their meeting, the Board reviewed an option to construct an addition at Monroe Middle School as a solution to our early learning facility needs. This option was one of nine possible scenarios the Board has reviewed following the April 4 Referendum Plan. The Board’s Facilities and Finance Committees ultimately recommended this intergovernmental plan as it allows the District to retain the current Jefferson as an asset, would not require a tax increase and will be paid for out of current and future operational dollars.
How will this option work? Doesn’t the park district own the property next to Monroe?
Through an intergovernmental land swap agreement with the Wheaton Park District, the school district would swap the vacant land (ball fields) immediately south of the current Jefferson property with a portion of the park district’s Graf Park that is immediately east of Monroe Middle School. The early learning center addition would be constructed on the current Graf Park property and would be connected to Monroe Middle School.
How will the Board pay for the early learning center addition?
The Board is reviewing an option to pay for the addition through fund balance (savings) and debt certificates. Debt certificates provide a way to borrow for improvements that allow for debt payments to come from the existing operational budget, not through a tax increase.This option allows the Board to access funds to complete the project without increasing taxes. The Board will also consider a private fund-raising campaign to potentially offset a portion of the building cost.
What does the new design look like?
A preliminary concept of the new building can be found here. The Board’s Facilities Committee will continue working with our architects and construction manager to refine the design and cost estimate of the project. As part of the presentation, the Board received a projected timeline for this option that projects groundbreaking Summer 2018 and opening to students for the 2019-20 School Year.
Currently, the District provides early learning and special education services to students ages 3-4 at Jefferson, Madison, Whittier and Johnson. To learn more about our early learning program and the need for a facility solution, watch this video.
Board begins discussion of Summer 2017 facility projects
Late last spring, the Board re-prioritized facility projects and determined, that for the time being, they would focus their facility planning efforts around capital projects, secure entries and a solution to our early learning facility needs. With a solution to our early learning needs in sight, the Board began discussion of how to address the remaining capital projects and secure entries.
The Board is moving forward with a plan to address all secure entry projects in Summer 2018 and will also continue to address the highest priority capital items. Next summer’s projected work will address more than $8 million of the highest priority capital projects in addition to the early learning center solution and secure entry projects. While this is a positive first step in addressing our facility needs, the Board still recognizes the challenge ahead in addressing the balance of capital projects across the District. Work will continue through this school year to develop a long term plan to address the remaining capital improvement needs.
Erica Loiacono | Director of Public Relations