District 202 officials expect the 2020-21 operating budget revenues to fall short of expenses by about $5.5 million because of the effects of COVID-19 on local property taxes, according to the proposed 2020-21 budget.
The Plainfield District 202 Board of Education received the First Draft 2020-21 budget at its June 22, 2020 regular meeting.
Changes may follow later this summer as the state continues to sort out funding due to COVID-19. The district may dip into fund balances or possibly decrease staffing costs through normal attrition to reduce or eliminate the projected operating deficit, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lane Abrell said.
The First Draft of FY 2021 budget will allow District 202 to maintain high-quality educational programs while continuing to develop and implement a responsible, sustainable financial plan, said Rick Engstrom, assistant superintendent for business and operations.
Engstrom said the proposed fiscal plan also:
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 2019, the most current year.
PROJECTED TOTAL BUDGET REVENUES AND EXPENSES
District 202’s total preliminary projected 2020-21 budget including debt service and capital projects is $365.5 million, up $39.6 million from $325.9 million last year, or 12.1 percent. However, construction of the new Wallin Oaks Elementary School accounts for $23.1 million of the increase.
Total revenues are expected to be $334.3 million in 2020-21, up $6.6 million from $327.7 million last year, or 2 percent.
PROJECTED OPERATING BUDGET REVENUES AND EXPENSES
The operating budget pays for all daily operating expenses including salaries and benefits, which comprise about 79 percent of the Operating Budget this year.
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.
The preliminary proposed 2020-21 operating budget shows $293.3 million in anticipated operating revenues, up $6.2 million from $287.1 million last year, or about 2.2 percent.
The preliminary proposed 2020-21 operating budget shows $298.8 million in expected operating expenses, up $12.8 million from $286 million last year or about 4.5 percent.
KEY BUDGET POINTS
As usual, salaries and benefits comprise about 79 percent of the preliminary projected 2020-21 operating expenses. Salaries and benefits are expected to total about $235.8 million, which is up about 3.6 percent, or $8.3 million, over last year’s figure of $227.5 million.
The preliminary proposed figure includes:
The proposed tentative budget also includes a $1 million contingency for building-specific enrollment changes and special education needs, as has been done the last several years.
Finally, but importantly, District 202 continues to operate more efficiently than the state average in nearly every category, according to the 2019 Illinois state report card: