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home : news : north central illinois   April 29, 2016

9/10/2013 2:21:00 PM
Deficit in education fund just one worry for Princeton elementary

Katlyn Rumbold
Princeton Bureau Chief

PRINCETON — A budget hearing has been set for 6:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 in the library of Logan Junior High School to review the tentative fiscal year 2014 budget.

Princeton elementary schools superintendent Tim Smith anticipates some concern in the education, building, and transportation funds.

Based on Smith’s projections those three funds combined show a total revenue of $10.5 million, total expenses of $10.7 million and a total deficit of $222,246.

However, these numbers are subject to change between now and Sept 30. Also, expenditures and revenue could change between now and June 30.

He said the remaining funds including bond and tort liability seem to be OK.

To make ends meet, Smith explained a three-year savings plan, that essentially, will retain more revenue through teacher retirements.

“We’re taking advantage of the retirement of staff to allow for some cost savings. In other words, we are not going to replace retirees in the next three years. Unfortunately, that means larger class sizes,” Smith said.

Also, to save money, is the controversy of closing Reagan Middle School. There are five school buildings in the district and Smith said it has been a big expense to maintain all these buildings, not to mention transportation. This has not yet been decided, but based on the outcome of the budget hearing, a decision will be made.

Smith emphasized that teachers have been working on the same classroom budget they were 18 years ago, so the problems arising don’t necessarily fall under education, but more so the pension reform and healthcare.

“Those are very troubling to me. The government is talking about ending the pension reform and putting the cost on the local school district. If that would happen, it’d be a huge cost,” Smith said. “Through the Affordable Care Act if we have to offer more to employees that’ll mean more money. Healthcare was advertised by something we were going to see reductions in. We’ve seen nothing but steep increases.”

The budget is currently on display in the district office at 506 E. Dover Road for those who may have questions regarding revenue/expenses. The public may attend the budget hearing.

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