Revenues holding steady in District 86

Final $10 million in Future Ready Facilities costs will be paid during this fiscal year

The Hinsdale High School District 86 Board is expected to approve a fiscal year 2023-24 budget Monday with anticipated revenues of almost $133 million and projected expenses of $142 million.

Revenues in the tentative budget are less than 1 percent higher than the $131.9 million the district saw in fiscal year 2023.

Local revenues are expected to increase $4.3 million or 3.6 percent due to increases in the consumer price index and new construction that applied to the 2022 levy, the district’s annual request for property tax revenue, according to the budget summary. The district also is expecting higher interest earnings on investments. Those increases, however will be offset by the loss of almost $3.4 million in other state, federal and other revenue, including a $1.1 million drop in the corporate replacement tax.

Next year is the last year the district will have Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief money to pay for 2.8 certified full-time equivalents that have been funded through the grant, said Josh Stephenson, the district’s chief financial officer. Last year the district received slightly more than $700,000, and about $300,000 remains.

Expenses will be down almost 16 percent — $26.5 million — with the completion of Future Ready Facilities projects approved in the 2019 referendum. Capital expenses in 2022-23 were $45.5 million, compared to about $15 million budgeted for 2023-24.

“The referendum projects are complete, and we’re just working on paying out all the remaining invoices and closing out all the projects,” Stephenson said at the Sept. 14 board meeting.

The difference between revenues and expenses will be covered by the $9.9 million left in the capital projects fund.

Expenses in most other categories are up. Salaries will increase 5.4 percent (almost $63.2 million to $66.6 million), benefits will increase 4.8 percent ($24.1 million to $25.3 million), purchased services will increase 14.7 percent ($13.2 million to almost $15.2 million) and supplies will jump 28.5 percent (almost $3.3 million to almost $4.2 million).

Salary and benefit increases for about 500 of the district’s 615 employees are covered under bargaining agreements between the board and the district’s three unions. In addition to base pay, the salary line item also includes stipends for athletic coaching, department chairs, substitutes, extra-duty pay and overtime.

The jump in purchased services is primarily due to increased costs for transportation, which represents the largest expense in this category. Transportation includes regular and special education busing and taxi services for homeless and special ed students.

“There are a number of significant factors pushing up transportation costs year over year,” Stephenson said, citing driver wages, benefits, leases and capital costs.

Besides almost $11 million to complete referendum projects, the capital projects budget includes $4 million of summer construction projects. The largest expense is slightly more than $2 million to complete window replacement at Hinsdale Central. Those projects are either out to bid or soon will be, Stephenson said.

The district will spend about $12.1 million to pay principal and interest on its $180.8 million worth of debt from five series of bonds, three of which are from the $140 million Future Ready Facilities referendum.

The district started the 2023-24 fiscal year with almost $37.6 million in its fund balances and expects to end the year with $28 million cash on hand.

“Overall, excluding the capital projects fund, we’re projecting the beginning and ending fund balance to be basically the same,” Stephenson said.

New this year, the budget includes an introductory narrative the finance committee has been working on for the past two months, Stephenson said.

“This is our attempt to put out a document that is fairly easy to understand, that anyone can kind of pick up and get a general overview of the annual budget for the district,” he said.

That document and a detailed budget are available online at under the BoardDocs agenda for Sept. 14.

The board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. tonight and again at its rescheduled meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, when it is expected to adopt it. Both meetings are at Hinsdale Central.

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean