D181 signed off in June on 21-22 budget

Expenses up about 2.5 percent in spending plan

Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board members in June approved a 2021-22 fiscal year operating budget totaling $66.3 million, with projected revenues of $74 million.

The spending plan is about 2.5 percent higher than the 2020-21 budget and includes $53.8 million for salaries and benefits, $6 million for purchased services and $3.6 million for supplies. The revenue expected represents a 1.5 percent increase over last year.

At the May 10 meeting, Rick Engstrom, assistant superintendent of business and operations, said the budget is designed to be adaptable as uncertainties related to COVID-19 persist.

“I think it’s flexible for unforeseen circumstances — like we’ve seen in the last year and a half — while at the same time being realistic with our priorities, initiatives, goals and realistic with our variances compared to the audit,” Engstrom told board members.

Priorities include spending $5.5 million to establish a district office building and abating about $6.2 million in property taxes as part of a fund balance strategy to maintain 30 to 50 percent of the operating budget in reserve.

Engstrom noted fund balances drop in the proposed budget because of various initiatives.

“Our (education) fund is decreasing due to the abatement amount that we’re setting aside,” he said. “The (operations and maintenance) fund is decreasing because we’re setting money aside for the district office building.”

There’s also $850,000 earmarked for book adoption and $690,000 for technology needs.

Superintendent Hector Garcia reported that property tax revenue and interest earnings are assumed to be flat. He said the state’s evidence-based funding, calculated based on the district’s ability to raise local resources coupled with enrollment, will also remain static at $2.25 million.

“We believe that the evidence-based funding is going to remain at 100 percent of last year’s amount,” he said.

At the June 21 board meeting, Engstrom told board members that original budgeted expenses rose slightly due to expanding the use of RtI (response to intervention) tutors and small increase in the professional development allotment and property/casualty insurance.

The document can be viewed online at https://go.boarddocs.com/il/hccsdil/Board.nsf/Public for the June 21 regular business meeting.