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Revenues higher, expenses lower than expected

Dist. 101's ‘starting point’ for fiscal 2014 almost $500,000 ahead of projections

The Morris Community High School board’s Finance Committee met with its financial planners Tuesday, reviewing the last budget year and preparing for the next.

The committee received a presentation on its financial planning from PMA Financial Network, said Superintendent Dr. Pat Halloran Wednesday.

The 2013 fiscal year had about $368,000 more in revenue then expected. About $178,000 of that was local revenue from property taxes, Tax Increment Financing District money, and more corporate personal replacement tax (CPRT) dollars than expected. In addition, it received about $175,000 more from state reimbursements and $15,000 more in federal grant money.

There was a decrease of about $118,000 from expected expenditures, despite the fact there was more than a $145,000 increase in costs for special education transportation this year due to private placements.

“Our starting point moving forward into fiscal year 2014 is about $490,000 more than our original projections,” said Halloran.

Looking toward the next fiscal year, PMA’s Howard Crouse said the state approved the Illinois State Board of Education’s budget with an 11 percent reduction in General State Aid entitlement instead of the original projection of 20 percent.

This means the state aid will be $88,000 more than the district had projected in March.

For now, there are no changes likely on state pensions until at the earliest 2015, said Halloran.

“There is a little breathing room there,” he said.

The district continues to work on the next budget to refine staffing. Currently revenues look about $400,000 better than in February and expenditures look about $100,000 less.

Continuing to look to the future, the district is being advised to go back to issuing its working cash bonds annually to help the education fund’s deficit.

In February 2012, the board approved issuing $3.5 million in working cash bonds for a two-year period to save money on interest rates and fees. Previously, it annually issued about $1.5 million in working cash bonds.

The district issues working cash bonds as its funding mechanism for district operations.

“We want to continuing offering a higher quality level of services and programs for our students and community while maintaining and containing our tax rate,” said Halloran.

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