ELMHURST – District 205 has posted its tentative budget for 2014-2015 and will hold a public hearing on the budget Sept. 23.
Chris Whelton, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, reviewed the 2014 budget and presented the 2015 tentative budget at the Aug. 12 Board of Education meeting.
Whelton explained enrollment projections indicated increases, especially at York High School. Student needs are increasing as well, which requires additional staff for special education and English language learners.
For the second year in a row, the Board of Education decided not to implement any budget cuts.
Additionally, the board added discretionary staffing to the 2015 budget used for instructional technology coaches and reduction in class sizes for the York core subjects.
For the second year in a row, the District received five quarterly payments from the State Board of Education instead of four. Whelton said State Superintendent Chris Koch warned not to expect a fourth payment in June 2015.
For that reason, the 2015 budget only includes three quarterly payments. This will result in a significant decrease when compared to 2014 due to the timing of payments.
The Operating Budget shows an annual deficit of $491,951 in Combined Operating Fund Balances for 2015, which Whelton described as a nearly break-even situation. The expected 38.91 percent reserve level at the end of the year is still above the minimum 26 percent in the Board's policy.
"These additional reserves are needed now when state and federal finances are uncertain," Whelton said.
He explained the larger-than-required reserve also allows District 205 to be less concerned with short-term borrowing in low cash flow months like April and May. The reserves also protect educational programs better by increasing the district's ability to absorb future negative financial changes, which may be unavoidable.
"It's a good thing in the current school district environment and economy," Whelton said.
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To view the details of District 205's 2015 tentative budget, visit www.elmhurst205.org.