Operations & Maintenance, Salaries See Increase in JSD117 FY22 Budget

By Benjamin Cox on August 27, 2021 at 10:28am

Jacksonville School District 117 appears to be on pace with their budget for the upcoming year compared to previous years. Education fund spending is projected rise due to state mandated minimum wage increases to teachers, substitutes, and paraprofessionals.

District Treasurer Richard Cunningham outlined some of the major highlights of the upcoming budget last night for the District 117 School Board saying that revenues are remaining fairly flat across the district.

Cunningham says operations and maintenance expenditures are going up this year: “There is an increase in expenditures due to the Bowl roof, the Early Years parking lot [renovation], and possibly the purchase of two new maintenance trucks, so I included that into the expenditures for that [fund]. Also, salaries with a 5% increase, and the benefits part of it, I kept flat because of where the numbers were coming in on the different packages for employees.”

The board would later go on to approve a new health insurance provider for the district’s benefits. The district is switching from Blue Cross Blue Shield to United due to the recent removal of Springfield Clinic from in-network designation with BCBS.

Cunningham says he’s budgeted revenues from the district’s sales tax proceeds to receive approximately $189,000 monthly despite the revenues trending upwards in recent months, which now include online sales tax collection.

He says that health, life, and safety funds and capital project funds are slated for some upcoming projects: “Expenditures, too, in this fund will allow for hopefully possible projects such as seal-coating parking lots at JHS, JMS, Eisenhower, Lincoln, and the bus lots. Expenditures also allow for the North [Elementary] entrance possibly to be repaired and the parking lots to be redone. Those are just some of the possible ways that moneys could be used in the [Capital Projects] fund.”

The projects for health, life, safety include the possibility of renovation of the high school roof and lockers, laying of new carpet at Eisenhower Elementary, various asbestos abatement projects, and chiller replacements, among others.

Overall, the FY22 budget shows an approximated $2.9 million deficit, which is $200,000 more than last year’s deficit of $2.7 million. As Superintendent Steve Ptacek noted during the meeting, the district always budgets higher on expenditures and less on expected revenues. He says that process has allowed for the district to actually come out ahead, rather than a deficit from year to year.

The budget will now be posted for 30 days for inspection by the public, with a public hearing and special session to be held at 5:30PM on September 28th.