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Grayslake D46 Board Looks To Plug $1.25 Million Budget Deficit

The Grayslake District 46 School Board discussed potential long-term budget savings at its Sept. 19 meeting, which included a public hearing but no 2012-13 budget approval.

How do you plug a budget deficit of $1.25 million?

That is the question the Grayslake District 46 School Board is grappling with for the short and long-term financial health of the district.

The board discussed potential budget savings at its Sept. 19 meeting following a presentation and public hearing for the proposed $49.1 million budget for fiscal year 2012-13.

The budget has yet to be approved. Wednesday's vote ended in a 3-3 tie.

Board members Sue Facklam, Ray Millington and Karen Weinert voted to approve the budget while Kip Evans, Shannon Smigielski and Keith Surroz voted against it. Board member Michael Carbone was absent from the meeting.

The lack of a majority vote means the school board will need to hold a special meeting to take another vote before Sept. 30, which is the Illinois State Board of Education's deadline for school districts to adopt their budgets.

Deficit

 Chief School Business Official Anna Kasprzyk said Wednesday the proposed budget reflects a $2.5 million decrease in operating fund expenditures but projects an overall deficit of about $1.25 million.

Revenues have decreased $959,000 over last fiscal year.

The school board discussed ways to cut costs and save here and there. Some of the concepts include:

  • Closing a school
  • Reducing cost of summer projects
  • Reducing curriculum dollars
  • Revisiting substitute pay
  • Reducing the number of bus routes
  • Year-round schooling
  • Blending grade schools
  • Eliminating textbooks
  • Reducing or eliminating extended school year programming
  • Using media center more effectively
  • Increasing registration fees
  • Increasing building usage fees
  • Limiting hours of building usage
  • Bringing kitchen facilities back to lower lunch program costs
  • Reducing health insurance
  • Reducing mileage for staff
  • Reducing cell phone costs
  • Reducing legal fees
  • Hiring a grant writer
  • Not paying for travel costs to attend conference dinners

Transfer to Aid Ed Fund

Kasprzyk said the proposed budget includes two transfers, including an interfund transfer of $1.4 million from the sale of Lakeview School. This money is budgeted to be moved into the Education Fund, which has a deficit of nearly $1.3 million.

The Education Fund represents 67 percent of the overall budget and is the budget's largest fund at $33.1 million.

Board member Shannon Smigielski asked whether a portion of the Lakeview money could be diverted to be used to install air-conditiong at Meadowview and Woodview schools, an action many parents have called for after classes were cancelled Sept. 5 due to heat and humidity. Kasprzyk conceded it was possible.

The second budgeted transfer is the remaining bond proceeds of $1.1 million, which currently can only be used for capital projects at Frederick and Prairieview school, said Kasprzyk. By passage of a resolution, the money could be put into the Operations and Maintenance Fund so it could be used for capital projects at any school building. The money cannot be transferred to the Education Fund.

Working Cash

Kasprzyk also gave the board a report on the district's assets, which includes $2.6 million in working cash.

"Why are we not looking at that to transfer?" asked Smigielski. She added the asset sheet presented by Kasprzyk was "something I didn't know we had or how to use it."

"My understanding is if you move that to another fund it's an interfund loan that has to be repaid," said board member Sue Facklam.

Kasprzyk said the working cash funds are general funds used for short-term investments.

Facklam said the money is not in the budget per say, that it represents fund balances, and if the district intends to live by a balanced budget, that money cannot be used at will.

 

 

 

Jose Cuervo September 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I watched the video posted & the asset sheet was something Smigielski requested. Budgets are often refered to as "working". That means they are constantly changing. To know the amount of assets in any fund all the time would be impossible. The working cash fund listed no restrictions on it. If the business manager tells the board that there is a fund with money in it & no restrictions then they assume it can be used. Even Facklam with 9yrs tenure said "her understanding of the fund", this shows none of them know for sure. It was at that time that the business manager said she didn't know what the restrictions were and would have to look into the Illinois school code. One of the biggest problems this district has is lack of knowledge. The board, the public, the staff, they are all told different stories about funds & the ability to use those funds. There are also constant law changes on these funds. Years back there were several board members who knew everything there was to know about budgets and funds. Those members were treated as "challenging". Their ideas were shut down. Their suggestions overlooked. To this day they offer suggestions and help but are shut down. How can any "new" or future board members, staff, community members, know and understand these funds if those with expertise and tenure give conflicting info. The finance committee had people who were competent. To elimiate them crippled the district.
Brad Faxton September 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM
There is going to be a "Jump to Jesus" moment in the next year or two. I just got our property valuation and for the first time in the 9 years we have lived in Grayslake, the valuation went down. A bunch. 13% to be exact. This will certainly have an impact on future revenues for the school. Administrative overhead had got to be looked at. Too many overlapping positions.
GoBlue September 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Agreed Brad. I also received my valuation yesterday and it decreased from the 2011 valuation over 12%. The funny thing is, I also received my escrow statement from my mortgage provider yesterday. They informed me that my escrow account over the next year is going up about $636, which would be over $52 per month. That is directly linked to the expected increase in my property tax. I am more than willing to do my part to make sure my children, as well as all children in CCSD 46 get the quality education they deserve. With that said the board and administration need to be more proactive and aggressive in finding meaningful ways to shed costs. I am sure there is a way this can be done without decreasing the quality of education provided in CCSD 46.
Rob Roop September 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I'm not interested in getting involved in any of the discussions here on the Patch but did want to make everyone aware of a report that I just posted to the Yahoo group that I moderate. The report is based on my analysis of the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 budgets. It is true that year over year spending decreased but there are 18 functional areas where spending increased. These increases were not discussed and were not mentioned in the article above (at least not in the same detail). People are welcome to join the Yahoo group but please remember that you have to play by my rules. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/District_46_Parents/
HelloKitty September 21, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Once again, Start at the top, where it is NOT going to effect the childrens education !! •Increasing building usage fees •Limiting hours of building usage •Bringing kitchen facilities back to lower lunch program costs •Reducing health insurance •Reducing mileage for staff •Reducing cell phone costs •Reducing legal fees •Hiring a grant writer •Not paying for travel costs to attend conference dinners Hello !!!! These are no brainers, Lets start here !!!
Tim Froehlig September 21, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Might I suggest as a preventative measure that those living in District 46 write their village boards, be it Round Lake Beach or Grayslake, or elsewhere in D46 boundaries, and ask them to update their comprehensive zoning maps to stop additional residential growth. I'm not talking about senior housing, or anything like that. I'm talking about any type of housing that would add additional kids to the district. It is completely within the village's rights to update these maps, and by doing so, they can block additional residential development. This is one minor way YOU can have a real, tangible impact on the future of the school district before it becomes too overburdened. Sometimes villages lose sight of this by overdeveloping (see the construction of Grayslake North High School and expansion of Grayslake Central as a prime example). While I realize that more families mean more property taxes, we've gotten to the point where the last thing we want is to have to talk about building additional schools 5 or 10 years from now...or even sooner. I know there are a lot of other minor variables involved in this as well. But if experience has taught me anything, it's that it is best to try and stop a potential problem like this in its tracks before you wind up with even bigger budget issues than you already have down the road. Just an honest suggestion.
Grayslake Fan September 21, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I am sure you are aware that a number of Administrators received raises at the BOE meeting the other night. Right?
Lennie Jarratt September 21, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Decreasing assessments do not have an affect on the actual levy amount except when a taxing body caps out. The levy is the tax and the taxing body gets what it levies under PTELL. If you want taxes to decrease or stop growing, the levy has to be decreased or frozen. I.E. Levies = Revenue, Assessments decreases just raises the rates.
Pete Gardner September 21, 2012 at 09:47 PM
How does a board give out raises with a deficit? Please tell me this isn't true!
Lennie Jarratt September 23, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Yes they passed the intention to realign administrative salaries in accordance to the new salary they passed the meeting before. Depending which administrators have contracts, the contracts will have to be approved separately, at least that is what was stated. I would imagine though that anyone without a contract would immediately get the raise. In addition in the previous meeting, one assistant received what was called at 40-50% raise that was retroactive to March 1. That was an outrageous action by the board majority.
Pete Gardner September 23, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I'm speechless. I'd ask for an explanation but I don't think there could be one that would make sense. I am dumbfounded at how this made sense to anyone.

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