Fuchs says district will balance budget by fall

By on July 1, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
The final version won’t be approved until September, but the Kaneland School Board last week passed a tentative budget that projects a deficit for the coming school year. Current projected expenditures outweigh projected revenues by $118,956 for the 2009-10 $46.8 million operating budget.

However, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, when the final budget is approved in September, it will be balanced. Fuchs said the board will work throughout the summer to look for ways to accomplish a balanced budget.

Fuchs said there are several reasons for the decrease in revenues and increase in expenditures projected for the coming school year.

On the revenue side, the slowdown of growth in the housing market has significantly reduced revenue from impact fees and other monies from the lack of new development.

On the expenditure side, the anticipated opening of the Harter Middle School in August brings with it many one-time expenditures. In addition, the 6.21 percent salary increase for teachers is another line item that raised expenditures beyond what had been anticipated.

The district continues to spend what will be a total of $65 million in bond proceeds from the passage of recent referendums. The opening of Kaneland Harter Middle School, the Blackberry Creek Elementary School addition, as well as the addition and remodeling of the current Kaneland Middle School is expected to be completed in spring 2010.

The board decreased the certified staff by 6.5 full-time equivalents and the support staff by 11 full-time equivalents from last year to the coming school year.

On the plus side, the federal government determined that the district will receive an additional $919,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money, a one-time amount to be used for special education purposes.

Fuchs said that as the state of Illinois continues to experience cash flow problems, the district must monitor the timely payments of all state funding. She said that once the state legislature balances its budget, the School District will be able to balance its budget.