District 117 Budgets Conservatively, Expecting Less Revenues in FY24

By Benjamin Cox on September 28, 2023 at 11:34am

Jacksonville School District 117’s budget for fiscal year 2024 appears much like last year’s budget.

According to last year’s budget, this year’s budget will have projected revenues up by about $2.5 million to a total of $44.4 million, and projected expenditures up $4.2 million to a total of over $51.6 million, equaling a projected deficit of about $7.1 million.

District 117 Treasurer Richard Cunningham says this proposed preliminary budget has barely any difference than the budget that has been posted since August 24th: “From the original presentation until now, nothing in the operating funds – nothing in the numbers there has changed. I’ve kept them the same. The only changes I’ve made were between funds, and it was in the Ed fund and the Transportation fund. It was just moving money to cover a bus lease that wasn’t going to be in the Ed fund, and that’s the only move that I made.”

Superintendent Steve Ptacek says these are just preliminary budget numbers and not actual figures of what will happen during the district’s fiscal year. He says that the projected loss may end up being a surplus by the end of the fiscal year: “Last year at this point in time, I think it was a $5.5 million dollar-projected deficit. Every year we have projected a deficit. Last year, we came out at $6.9 million ahead. So, we prepare for the worst situation and that has worked very well for us over the last 10 years. We think that realistically if CPPRT (Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax) does get cut that we could end up with a million-dollar deficit. With a substantial fund balance of $43-44 million at one point in time during the year, we readily can absorb that without having to worry about any cuts.”

If the district does have a $7.1 million deficit, the district’s general fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2024 would still total over $30 million.