Local

Algonquin-based School District 300 Board approves budget, sets public hearing

The Algonquin-based School District 300 board voted to authorize its tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year at its last meeting.

Last fiscal year, from 2018-19, the district had about $266.3 million in revenue for its operating funds and $265 million in expenditures. This gave the district a surplus of $1.3 million.

About 66% of the district’s revenue came from property taxes, 22% came from state funds, and 7% came from federal funding. The remainder came from other local fees collected, the district’s Chief Operating Officer Susan Harkin said.

For the district’s expenditures, 52% were made on salary and benefits. The next largest part of the funds was spent on purchase services, mostly in transportation and the outsourced food service.

For the upcoming fiscal year budget, the district is factoring in the expectation of $45.5 million in new property that will get them additional funds.

This fiscal year, from 2019 through 2020, there is $277.8 million in projected revenue and $276.7 million in projected expenditures, bringing the district an estimated $1 million surplus.

This brings the district’s overall expenditures to a revenue ratio of 35.8%.

“That would be a budget that would be aligned and in compliance with your board fund balance policy,” Harkin said.

In general state aid, the district is expecting a decrease over what it budgeted last year in state transportation because of a higher state proration. All other local state and federal revenue are relatively flat, Harkin said.

Harkin said the district plans to invest $1.7 million in the budget toward what the state’s evidence-based funding model calls “core investments.”

“In May, we talked about our education plan requests for the upcoming school year and how we can improve our educational environments for our students,” she said. “All of those are either aligned to the evidence-based funding model, which is where our primary funding is coming from for these additional requests this year, and they’re also aligned with our strategic goals.”

This includes adding four teachers, so the district can maintain its current class sizes and 16 counselors to support students’ social-emotional needs, among other hires, Harkin said.

“Our primary focus for that is because our ratios for counselors were well above guidelines in what is recommended to provide services,” she said. “This is to help us get our counselors-to-student ratios down to a level to what state averages would suggest.”

A public hearing on the budget is set for at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the district’s central office, 2250 Harnish Drive in Algonquin.

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