by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Monday voted 6-1 to approve the tentative budget for the 2012-13 school year.
The tentative operating budget for the upcoming school year is $48,600,316, with revenues expected to eclipse expenditures by $218,935. Additionally, revenues in the 2012-13 operating funds are expected to see an increase of 1.6 percent, with an education fund increase of 2.2 percent.
“Changes in both revenues and expenditures projected for 2012-2013 are based upon many factors,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie-Ann Fuchs wrote in a document distributed to the board during the meeting. “Primarily, on the revenue side, the tax levy has produced an additional $748,236 for the operations from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013.”
The document notes that expenditure budget increases include health insurance premiums, special education tuition and transportation. Expenditures for the upcoming school year are expected to increase $600,000 from the 2011-12 operating budget.
During the meeting, Fuchs noted that the budget is completely balanced for the first time in four years.
“I am pleased that we have presented a balanced budget to the board. It continues to demonstrate our commitment to sound fiscal management,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “We continue to meet the financial performance targets set by the board and will continue to work hard to maximize the educational value of our money. This budget reflects several months of hard work and collaboration.”
Fuchs’ document also touched upon the district’s budget reduction process last spring, in which it shaved $1.1 million in expenditures from the operating budget, including a reduction of 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) and 1.5 classified FTE staff positions. Since then, several of the cut positions were reclaimed in preparation for high school schedule changes and an increase in enrollment.
“The board has the goal of a balanced budget, and lots of hard work went into the preparation of this tentative budget,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said. “Each and every board member takes the guardianship, stewardship and wise expenditures of precious tax dollars very seriously.”
Further board discussion took place regarding the Kaneland Transportation Department’s intention to combine select bus stops for students in grades 6-12. The move would reduce the number of stops on a bus route and yield savings that could reach as much as $50,000. However, a consequence of combining bus stops is that some students will have to walk as far as six blocks to reach their respective stop.
A public hearing and adoption of the District 302 budget for the 2012-13 school year will take place Monday, Sept. 10.