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District 202 Sees Red in FY 2013 Budget

A drop in state aid and rising expenses will leave the district with a $10 million operating fund deficit. Board also honored Niehus award recipient at June 25 meeting.

is expected to be about $10 million in the red by the end of next year, according to information provided by the district.

Elementary, middle and high school and departmental budgets have already been cut, but those cost control measures will likely not be enough to cover an operating fund deficit of about $10 million because of anticipated lower general state aid, district officials said.

The deficit is about double the operating fund deficit projected earlier this year.

According to preliminary budget information, the state’s plan to prorate general state aid revenue at 89 percent of eligible expenses will cost the district $4.7 million. Also, according to the budget information, revenues other than general state aid and property taxes are down by $9 million. Federal grants have been reduced by $5.1 million and other fees, including $912,000 in local revenue, have been reduced by $1.9 million.

Preliminary budget figures show that operating fund revenues are expected to be about $9.6 million lower than this year, while operating fund expenses are expected to increase by about $1.4 million.

Revenues are projected at $233.2 million and expenses are projected at $243.6 million, according to information provided by the district.

Teachers and support staff salaries are expected to increase by about 2.5 percent. The budget proposes -- but the school board has not approved -- 2.5 percent raises for administrators and non-union support staff.

District officials say there is some good news: The 2011-12 budget is looking better than anticipated, and officials expect the district’s operating fund to end this fiscal year about $5.1 million better than predicted. Teachers and support staff agreed to have their pay frozen this past year, and the district did not fill positions that opened during the school year, saving about $2.6 million in reduced salaries and benefits, according to the district.

The board is expected to adopt the budget at its Sept. 24 meeting.

District spokesman Tom Hernandez said that the budget is extremely preliminary information still, and the board is continuing to wait to see what the state will do in education funding.

The proposed budget will go on public display on Aug. 10, with a public hearing for Sept. 10.

New adminstrators

In other news, the District 202 school board on Monday named five new administrators.

The board named Angela Smith, who is currently the director of business services for to assistant superintendent for business and operations starting July 1. Smith replaces John Prince, who is retiring after 38 years in education, including time as a school social worker, director of community education and director of student services. Prince joined District 202 in 2009.

The board also named three new assistant directors to the Student Services department, which oversees special education. As part of a restructuring effort, two year-long advisors; a 100-day private facility administrator; and five special education administrators were eliminated. The Student Services department now has six fewer administrators.

 Joe Schimmel, the former principal of Bloom Trail High School, was named assistant director for emotional disabilities. Cheril Phillips, who has worked in District 202 since 1999, will be the new assistant director for elementary programs. Deborah (Dee) Graves, the vocational coordinator for , was named the new assistant director for transition and private placement.

The board also named fifth-grade teacher Tyler Broders as the interim assistant principal at Grand Prairie Elementary School, replacing Julianne Palmer.

Stein named Niehus award winner

Finally, the district on Monday presented Audrey Stein with the Walter G. and Juanita F. Niehus award.

Stein, a bookkeeper, began working at the high school in 1996 as a substitute secretary before becoming the bookkeeper in 1998. In addition to her work, she helped each of her five sons’ parent organizations from the time the first one enrolled in elementary school in 1973 until the last one graduated high school in 2003.

Stein is the 27th recipient of the Niehus Award, which is given each year to a staff member who shows extraordinary commitment to district students, parents and employees. The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence administers the Niehus award, which is named after former District 202 Supt. Walter Niehus and his wife, former teacher Juanita Niehus.

Kristine Neumann June 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM
What happened to the comments that were here before?
Suze June 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
People need to recall the RETROACTIVE raises ALL ADMINISTRATORS were given in February of this year--a few days prior to teaching positions being eliminated. And we have a board president who has no idea if teachers contribute to their health care costs (they do!)--as he felt admin. raises were called for due to their NEW contributions to healthcare costs. Welcome to reality PSD admin!
BIGMOUTH September 06, 2012 at 11:12 PM
It is amazing that all the other comments have been removed. I guess Plainfield Patch has decided to censor what is being said here. Does the TRUTH hurt or maybe they are biased. Or does the school board not want other parents to actually find out what is going on. I have heard the the school district wants to put a new face on Central school to bring it in line with the other 3 school. Is that what the Million dollars is for....
BIGMOUTH September 06, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Guess the Patch doesn't want everyone else to read them. sounds like they are trying to silence those of us that want to speak our opinions..Oh wait. Freedom of speech is not one of our rights. I forgot.. Just like our kids saying the pledge of allegiance, heard it over the speaker system at Lincoln Elementary school this week. It goes. I pledge allegiance to YOUR flag instead of to THE flag.. Yeap we no longer live in America....

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