$$ District 228 Finances $$
These are the facts:
  • The Board of Education’s main priority has been focused on students and academics. Despite these very difficult economic times, the District has maintained fiscal responsibility — doing more with lesswithout the elimination of student programs or of student opportunities.
  • The current Board has provided the fiscal oversight to move the district from an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Financial Profile designation of “REVIEW” (some weakness in financial stability) in fiscal year 2012 to the designation of “RECOGNITION” (the highest category of financial strength) for fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • This has taken place despite the fact the state has made reductions to Mandated Categorical Grants and Transportation revenue.

    This is also despite the fact that the district’s General State Aid (GSA) has been “prorated” (i.e. slashed by the State of Illinois) the past several years, resulting in a cut of more than 2 million dollars in annual General State Aid revenues.
  • The Fiscal Year 2015 budget limited the increase in overall expenditures to 1.4% compared to the Fiscal Year 2014 budget. This is lower than the annual cost of living increase... despite our losses in revenue.
  • Provided oversight on securing a number of grant programs saving the District more than $270,000 in the past two years.
  • Restructured our bonded debt to lower interest rates and to save our taxpayers thousands of dollars.
  • Cut the Fiscal Year 2015 discretionary budget for the fifth straight year, resulting in a $164,000 plus reduction to the budget for supplies/materials.
  • Reduced the Technology budget while maintain cutting edge technology for the students, parents, and staff: Adding new computers, Eno boards, projectors and iPads for classroom use, along with a new wireless infrastructure to support the move to one-to-one iPads for all students starting with the freshmen in 2016.
  • The Fiscal Year 2015 budget calls for a reduction of the Operation & Maintenance (O & M) fund of over $289,000.
  • The Fiscal Year 2015 budget has reduced capital funding by more than $33,000 while still providing funding for many capital projects.
It's a delicate balancing act...
  • ...requiring the cutting of costs without jeopardizing or eliminating programs for our students.
  • ...necessitating the cooperation of our teaching staff in careful sectioning classes without sacrificing quality education.
  • ...demanding the setting of realistic goals and wise priority-setting in the allocation of funds.
  • ...expecting our fiscal planners to develop creative and innovative ways to infuse additional revenues into our fund balances while waiting out the State of Illinois to send us what they owe us (which is unlikely because of proration) and without laying a heavier burden upon our stakeholders.
  • ...in short, making a conscious effort to do more with less.

We grapple with this every single day!

A bird's-eye view of our revenues and expenditures:
Projected Revenues:
Item       Amount % of Total
Real Estate Taxes $ 49,166,000. 67%
Unrestricted General State Aid $ 17,249,000. 24%
Restricted State Grants $ 1,942,492. 3%
Restricted Federal Grants $ 2,423,584. 3%
Other Local Revenues $ 2,290,200. 3%
TOTAL REVENUES $ 73,072,031.

Projected Expenditures:
Item       Amount % of Total
Salaries $ 48,892,955. 60%
Employee Benefits $ 11,741,017. 14%
Purchased Services $ 7,783,043. 9%
Supplies and Materials $ 3,209,561. 4%
Capital Outlay $ 2,127,812. 3%
Special Education Tuition $ 8,242,000. 10%
Other $ 113,400. 0%

Including the amount needed to service the district’s debt, that is, to pay off and retire Working Cash bonds (including interest), TOTAL EXPENSES in our Fiscal Year 2015 budget were held to an increase of only 1.4%, which is LOWER than the general cost of living — a truly remarkable feat — the result of hard work both on the part of the District Administration and of the Board of Education.

Reckless charges and idle talk that our Administrators and Board of Education members “sit on their hands” and “do nothing” with regard to the development of our program and the stewardship of the public’s money are uninformed at best, ignorant of the facts, and in some cases deliberately provocative and divisive. Our stakeholders know better. They are not easily deceived by malcontents who, for their own purposes, misrepresent us and our good-faith efforts. We are justly proud of our record.