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D-200 board to vote on budget Sept. 25

Next year's Community Unit School District 200 budget will be the subject of a vote by the Board of Education at its meeting Sept. 25.

The proposed general education fund for the 2013-14 fiscal year is similar to last year's. The estimated $130,093,500 in revenue and $130,018,500 in expenditures are both within three percent of last year's totals.

"In terms of the overall budget, it's pretty much business as usual," said Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations Bill Farley. "We're just spending money a bit differently."

Farley said that D-200 has tried to redistribute funds to address district priorities and goals instead of increasing spending. The district has seen a surplus budget in the past two fiscal years and is projected to be in the black in 2013-14 as well.

During a school board meeting on Sept. 11, Superintendent Brian Harris said that after these recent years of financial stability, there are now more AP classes, 15 new all-day kindergarten classes and more resources for the 1,100 English language learner students in the district.

Farley said that in the coming year, D-200 will take a similar approach and apply funds to support new equipment and staff for district technology, professional development and some education for special education teachers. Additional funding will go toward a new community outreach program to ask residents and parents about district priorities.

Board member Rosemary Swanson said at the meeting that she was pleased that the district had been able to prioritize these goals, saying the budget reflected "the first time where we feel like we have the luxury of having some choices."

"I'm hoping we're going to continue to be able to make choices in the future years," she said.

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