District 117 Budget In Good Shape Heading Into FY22

By Benjamin Cox on June 28, 2021 at 8:35pm

Jacksonville School District 117’s budget for the year appears to have broke even during a trying year.

The school board passed the amended budget in a special meeting this past Wednesday showing that some of the previously reported deficit spending in some of the district’s fund balances had actually broke even or may actually come out with a surplus of money.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek says its a normal, responsible thing for the numbers to change over the course of the year: “This is a process we go through every year. We start out the year with minimizing our expected revenue stream and maximizing our expenditures, and that’s why we always start out the beginning of the year saying, ‘Hey, if that situation were to develop, we would end up 2-3-4 million dollars short in our fund balance.’ That’s so we can properly plan and protect the taxpayers’ money. Then, as the year goes by, we more accurately represent what we spent and what we received as revenue, and for the last couple of years, it ended up with a million to two-million dollar surplus.”

Ptacek says the extra money that has been saved with those surpluses have made the district able to do major projects like the upcoming Washington Elementary renovation. Ptacek says the district will get a clearer picture on the full budget picture of the past year this Fall: “This year did have more expenditures with the Covid year, so that’s minimizing that gain to hopefully flat, and really, hopefully up to $700,000 to a million dollars in excess once again. We won’t know that until a couple months after the full year is finalized and all of the bills are in. That will happen during our audit, which takes place in the Fall.”

Ptacek says that the district’s property tax disbursement is actually up from the county for this time of year from $8 million in total to $9 million in total. He says it’s not an indication of a property tax increase, but rather, more people in the county have paid their property taxes on time this year compared to years in the past. He says the district will estimate for lower disbursement in the Fall for the second round of property tax disbursement from the county Treasurer’s office.