District 34’s tentative budget is balanced, big summer work order on buildings

District 34 students will resume school this month.  | Sun-Times Media file photo
District 34 students will resume school this month. | Sun-Times Media file photo

GLENVIEW — School District 34 in Glenview passed a tentative budget Monday for the 2014-15 school, showing a balanced plan in operational spending.

The district is projecting $65.7 million in expenditures, and revenues are an expected $66 million.

District officials said it reflected the 2012-13 budget designed to avoid deficit spending.

In 2012, school board trustees and district officials were committed to cut $1.8 million in spending per year until 2016.

The district also reduced the number of substitute teachers, cut office budgets and staff, increased class size and restructured middle school scheduling.

For staff reductions, spending cuts eliminated 14, including 2 certified staff positions and five non-certified positions, thus saving $883,000.

After much review, trustees also decided to do without Glenview police officers at both middle schools, thus saving $65,000 a year.

In this year’s teachers’ contract, Glenview Education Association will receive a 2 percent salary increase with a 3 percent increase in 2013-14 and 1.7 percent more in the 2014-15 school year.

The final year, 2015-16, pay increase will equal the Consumer Price Index announced in January 2014 with a 1.5 percent floor and 4 percent ceiling.

The contract was voted on in May, and a District 34 report stated it aligned annual increases — one of the district ’s biggest expenses — to the CPI.

“This is significant, as a majority (approximately 88 percent) of the district ’s revenue comes from local property taxes and those annual increases are capped at CPI or 5 percent, whichever is lower,” said the report.

Mary Werling, assistant superintendent of business services, said this year’s balanced ledger resulted from “a fiscally responsible approach.”

“State and federal funding continue to pose many uncertainties, but through conservative estimates on both the expenditure and revenue side we feel confident in our approach,” Werling said in a release.

In December 2013, the district school board accepted a 3.6 percent tax levy increase over the 2012 amount.

The levy was projected to bring in about $46.3 million in local tax revenue for the district’s schools.

An owner with a $500,000 home could expect to pay an additional $74 in taxes, the district estimated.

A significant expenditure is for facility projects at seven of the eight district buildings this summer.

The structural projects will cost $20 million in yet unbudgeted money over the next five years.

This summer’s work list included replacing the lighting at the schools, excluding out Attea Middle School, asphalt and paving district wide, roofing at Springman and replacing the roof over the multi-purpose room at Henking.

The gymnasium floor at Westbrooks was replaced with athletic flooring, the water piping was replaced at Glen Grove and new emergency generators were installed at Henking, Hoffman, Lyon, Springman and Westbrook.

School officials estimated a $35.1 million or 53 percent fund balance in operating funds following the 2014-15 fiscal year.

District 34’s policy stipulates at least a 30 percent fund balance.

In review, a district report stated revenues outpaced expenditures by approximately $2.5 million, which was $1.3 million more than expected anticipated due to decreased expenditures.

“The District had projected $68.2 million expenditures, but that figure was brought down by $1.2 million due to a change in realized need for both personnel and special education student placements,” stated the release.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. for Sept.15 when the board trustees will vote on the budget.

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