NEW LENOX – Lincoln-Way High School District 210 leaders are hoping for a balanced budget next year.
But that all depends on the amount of state funding the district receives and if there is more growth in property next year. At Thursday’s board meeting, District 210 Superintendent Scott Tingley said he’s noticed more home construction this year than in the past.
It could mean a good outcome next year for the budget of a school district that has seen declining property values since 2009.
“If we can start to maintain that slow steady growth, it will help us,” he said.
At the meeting, board members approved the notice of a public hearing for a projected $101.5 million budget for fiscal 2015. The hearing will be on Sept. 9 at Lincoln-Way Central High School.
Tingley said District 210 will need to continue to be conservative in spending without affecting students or school programs. This year, school officials reduced the size of the district’s Air Force JROTC program and dismissed four art teachers because of low enrollments.
The school district has made cuts to other programs and dismissed staff in the past several years because of a struggling economy and low state funding.
“I’m not optimistic at all,” Tingley said about future state funding. “But you have to be. Not everything can be doom and gloom.”
On Thursday, board members also approved the budget for Lincoln-Way Area Special Education District 843.
Lincoln-Way is part of a cooperative with other area school districts for District 843, which provides special education services and support to students with special needs. Before District 843 governing board members can vote on their budget, they need approval from the districts that are members of the cooperative.
Ronald Sawin, the district’s assistant superintendent of business, said Lincoln-Way’s share of the budget’s major funds increased by 6.6 percent because New Lenox School District 122 withdrew from the cooperative.
“We’re taking a bigger share of overhead expenses and administrative expenses. That’s why we’re seeing that jump at this point in time,” he said.