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District 58 OKs preliminary budget, technology upgrades

DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education had a productive meeting July 13, addressing a proposed budget for the coming school year as well as technology upgrades.

The board approved all items 5-0. Board members James Paul and Sallie Ann Lupescu were absent.

Preliminary budget

The board greenlighted the district's preliminary budget for the 2015-16 school year.

According to board documents, the budget includes $63.8 million in revenue and $63.4 million in expenses.

The 2014-15 budget contained $63.9 million in expenses and $62 million in revenue.

The preliminary budget includes $38.5 million devoted to salaries, up from $37.6 million the previous year.

District Controller Jim Popernik said the district anticipates being "very close" to even on expenses and revenue for 2015-16.

However, it is still owed $1.4 million from the federal and state governments for the 2014-15 budget, he said. The federal funds should be sent soon, but the state money may not be available until August.

"We'll get the money when the state has the money and distributes it," Popernik said.

Board members did not discuss the preliminary budget.

The board will hold a budget workshop meeting Aug. 24, as well as a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie Ave., before giving final approval later in the year.

Technology upgrades

The board also approved purchasing two technology upgrades.

The first is a firewall upgrade, which will cost $52,828.80. According to board documents, the district's wireless network was significantly stressed during the last school year, and the upgrade is needed to help with network traffic.

The district will purchase a Dell SonicWALL Supermassive 9000, which will include a three-year software license.

The board also approved spending $24,288 to purchase 352 Apple TVs, which will be used to display content from student devices.

James Eichmiller, director of innovative technology and learning for the district, said the TVs will take some of the traffic off the wireless network, which will ease the congestion.

Matthew Rich, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said the TVs have become "necessary equipment in the classroom."

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