Plainfield School District Deficit Projected at $1.8 Million
Non-personnel cuts and additional revenue has reduced a once-anticipated $8.9 million operating fund deficit down to $1.8 million.
Plainfield School District 202 administrators have a clearer picture of the 2012-13 budget, which now projects a $1.8 million deficit, district officials said Monday.
The District 202 board adopted the budget in September with a projected $8.9 million operating fund deficit. While the board was required by law to file a budget in September, it also knew that work needed to be done to reduce the deficit and an amended budget will be filed this winter.
The district was able to save about $5.2 million in non-personnel cuts, Angela Smith, assistant superintendent of business and operations, said.
The biggest reduction – saving about $3 million – came by eliminating about 200 vacant teaching, administrative and support positions that were kept in the budget as placeholders in case student enrollment required those jobs to be filled, she said. Many of these positions were cut in recent years, but were not removed from the budget, Smith explained.
Another $676,000 was saved in the transportation budget because fewer bus routes were needed.
Building-level budgets were cut by 15 to 20 percent, saving an additional $674,000, Smith said.
Another $500,000 was saved by delaying curriculum adoptions for one year, and new natural gas and electricity contracts also offered additional savings.
The district also received about $1.8 million in new revenue, including $1 million in federal special education funds, Smith said.
The board has not yet discussed how it plans to reduce or eliminate the projected $1.8 million deficit. The board and district administration will work to cut the deficit before filing an amended budget, likely in January.
In other news, board member Michael Kelly announced he will not seek a fifth term on the board. When his term is up this spring, he will have served 16-and-a-half years as a board member, but he has also served more than 30 years volunteering in the district.
Kelly said he plans to spend more time traveling and being with his family.
“It has been a privilege to serve with so many caring people,” he said.