D-3 budget includes Internet, roof upgrades

FOX RIVER GROVE – Adding greater Internet access and fixing roofs at the Fox River Grove District 3 schools are the highlights of the district’s spending plan for this fiscal year.

The $8.1 million budget includes this summer’s $354,000 in capital projects, which mainly were roof repairs. The district had been saving for those projects over the past few years.

District officials estimate there will be only $7.7 million in revenue, but much of the deficit is because of the capital projects.

When taking the capital projects out of the equation, Superintendent Tim Mahaffy said he estimates that the district will run a less than a 1 percent deficit. That small deficit could turn into a small surplus if special education costs come in lower than projected.

“That’s the thing that affects our budget,” Mahaffy said.

The district also reduced the number of kindergarten sections to two from three sections because of decreased enrollment, Mahaffy said.

District officials also added fiber to the schools’ Internet connections for an additional $300 a month. Last year, the district added wireless, Mahaffy said.

The increased connectivity “reduces the barriers for learning,” he said.

The district does plan to make a transfer from its transportation fund of about $352,000 to its education fund during the year.

“We’ve hit our tax cap with our education rate,” Mahaffy said. “We’re levying where we can with the maximum rates, and transferring to the fund most in need.”

Mahaffy said there would be no cuts in service. Mahaffy also said the district has maintained its AA rating with Standard and Poor. The district has never had a AAA rating. He added that in 2003-04, the district’s rating was lowered, and the district had to work to get it back.

“[We’ve been] holding it steadily for a while,” Mahaffy said.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its meeting Sept. 23.

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