Glenview District 34 Braces For Deficit Spending

Administration projects expenditures will outpace revenue by $2.6 million.

Another year, another deficit. This time, the magic red number is $2.6 million, thanks to across-the-board cuts from Springfield earlier this summer. The heard the bad news Monday at its monthly meeting.

"In 2010, expenditure exceeded revenues, and 2011 was the first year we had a deficit," said Mary Werling, assistant superintendent for business services. "We're projecting that to continue into 2012."

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In June, the board reviewed a tentative budget that forecasted $67.5 million in expenditures and a $1.8 million deficit. Now, the Board of Education has been hit with the realization that the district's expenditures will be an estimated $67.6 million, and the deficit will come closer to $2.6 million. This gut punch comes after the State of Illinois approved its budget and slashed programs and departments across the board. 

"Those cuts have touched virtually every program and department statewide," Werling said.

And it means District 34 will be required to cover some expenses out-of-pocket because it will not receive some of the revenue it had previously expected. Those lost funds include:

  • $224,000 from an expected grant for the early childhood program
  • $193,000 from Gov. Quinn's line-item veto to transportation payments
  • $154,000 from a now-eliminated teacher mentor program
  • $100,000 of general aid

The state has paid back some of the $1.3 million it owed the school district as of June, but it still has $900,000 of outstanding back payments, which Werling said are running four to six months behind. Across all its fronts, Illinois has about $3.3 billion in owed payments, the deadline for which has been extended until Dec. 31.

"That buys them three more months to make good on their outstanding bills," Werling said.

As of now, the board predicts it will finish the 2012 fiscal year with a fund balance of $34,441,396—about $600,000 more than needed to meet the district's policy of having at least 30 percent of its total expenses in the coffers in case expected revenues don't show up.

President Chris Northwick said the news wasn't all bad, pointing to the fact that the current projection shows the district finishing next year with $600,000 more in its fund balance than previously expected.

"There's some good news and some 'Hello, State,'" Northwick said. "But we knew it was going to be very difficult to predict financing over the next two or three years." 

The board plans to approve the final budget on Sept. 19 after a public hearing.

Stay tuned to Glenview Patch or updates. 

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