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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.

holeinone November 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM
How about saving the school distritct another $ 100,000, just pay our savior the great Mr. Harper $ 100,000 instead of the $ 200,000 plus he gets now. The Plainfield School District has such high ratings under his leadership....NOT!
Tim November 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM
This could be turned into a $10M SURPLUS, with a single change in the next labor contract; Make ALL employees contribute to their own pension fund, out of their own checks, instead of the school district(property taxes) funding it.
Ron November 20, 2012 at 05:10 PM
That's $12 million dollar benefit per year the teachers are getting on behalf of the property taxpayers. The next labor contract needs to be changed. Approximately, 66% of the school districts in Illinois pay the employee contributions for the teachers. The teachers in the Plainfield School District currently contribute nothing towards their pension and let it all fall on the backs of the property taxpayers. Perhaps it is time for a change.
Ernie Knight November 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Tim and Ron, As much as you may enjoy scapegoating teachers, contracts are the result of collective BARGAINING. There is no part of that which includes unilateral punishment (forced contributions to pensions) for the bargaining unit. You can vent all you want, it won't save money. If the teachers contribute more, they will be compensated more. To believe otherwise is naive.
Jim W November 21, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Why do you insist on your ceaseless and blatant jackassery??? Stop spouting your endless lies onto the simpletons who are so eager to hear your BS. Plainfield teachers pay over 9% of their salaries into TRS, which is the Teacher's Retirement System of Illinois. We don't get a free ride.
Ron November 21, 2012 at 05:27 AM
There is no lying going on here except from your statement Jim W. Perhpas it is just more convenient for you to ignore the truth or are you just ignorant to the facts? The board shall contribute on behalf of the teacher, the full teacher contribution into TRS. http://www.psd202.org/Departments/BO/APT_Contract.pdf Maybe you should actually take the time to read and educate yourself on section 11.12 of your own contract which is on page 22. You do get a free ride on behalf of property owners in the school district. I certainaly hope you don't teach your misunderstandings to our children.
Ernie Knight November 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Ron, It's not a free ride, regardless. It is a negotiated CONTRACT between the teachers and the school district. As an attorney you should understand that. Pension contributions would be considered and negotiated, just like, and in combination with, compensation. Negotiated contract provisions are generally not called "a free ride", Ron.
Jim W November 21, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Thanks for the sage advice, but it is unnecessary. I am very familiar with the language of the contract and understand it quite well. Every check, every teacher receives from D202 has the following 2 sections on it. Employee deductions and employer paid benefits. Under the employee deductions section, 9.4% of MY salary is deducted from MY check and paid to TRS. Under employer paid benefits, .5% is paid into TRS. Now, since the Board pays 100% of my salary, I could see where someone such as yourself could be confused. I guess someone with your specious logic could post a page of the contract out of context and try to make the argument that teachers pay nothing and the board pays everything, but you would just be angry and wrong. Happy Thanksgiving, try to avoid the sour grapes, you seem to have had enough already.
Tim November 21, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Except your 'salary' is specifically identified as separate from your TRS contribution in your salary schedule. It is not included, and is paid 100% by the board, and is identified as such. Contrast this to Downers Grove, where District 99 does NOT pay for the TRS contribution, and it comes out of salary, and not the board. I know your union is feeding you nonsense in its attempts to defend itself, but you really need to make yourself aware of the realities of what they are doing. The language used is specifically designed to be confusing. Tell you what, you don't need to post your name, just post your salary, paycheck, withholding, location in the step schedule, and any other info on your stub. We can show you right now how to add and divide in real time to prove to you once and for all that this is indeed going on.
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Patterson November 24, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Actually Tim the salary schedule posted on the PSD 202 website under the contract info includes the 9.4 TRS contribution. Starting pay is $40,334 for a first year teacher with a bachelor’s degree. The 9.4 comes out of that starting salary. It is not separate as you say. This means that the salary schedule is bargained with the intended board benefit. What does this mean? It means once the salary schedule is set the 9.4 comes out the teachers’ salary and since it’s bargained in it means that teachers are not getting a free ride. They are not separate entities. If it’s confusing as you say it’s because you are not familiar with contracts or reading them. It has nothing to do with the scary teachers union.

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