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D122 Gets Financial Forecast With Facility, Busing Decisions Ahead

District 122 held its annual January strategic plan meeting to review finances and other major plans for the district. Administrators stressed that the district is in good shape, but there's a projected $1.1 million deficit for the fiscal year 2013 budget

New Lenox school board members got an update on District 122's five-year financial outlook last week, readying them for important decisions that will be made for next year.

District 122 held its annual January strategic plan meeting to review finances and other major plans for the district. Administrators stressed that the district is in good shape, but there's a projected $1.1 million deficit for the fiscal year 2013 budget because of a lack of state payments.

That was the focus of last week's financial forecast. Illinois has failed to make two payments totaling $2.2 million to District 122, and as state reimbursements for transportation continue to decline, the local schools are left the weather the storm.

The financial forecast is provided to board members at least twice a year to provide context to the decisions they make. You can view the entire document, which is attached to this article as a PDF.

It shows that the next couple of years will continue to see declines in new growth, equalized assessed value and state aid, but after that the district could be in better shape.

"It's a very tumultuous times financially for every district in the state," said Howard Crouse, the vice president of PMA Financial Network, which gave the presentation. "But we would anticipate when the market picks back up, you’re one of the areas that will see the benefit earlier than most."

District 122 gets about 74 percent of its revenue through local property taxes, and only 7 percent through general state aid, which is likely to continue shrinking. For example, transportation reimbursements have dropped from about 74 percent at one time to just half now.

The district actually , which helped cover a projected budget deficit for the current fiscal year. That was welcomed news following .

This year, the district won't have to cut as much, district spokeswoman Jenny Zimmerman said, in part because the projected deficit is smaller, and administrators have said they feel comfortable dipping into reserves for various projects as long as enough is maintained in the bank to keep a high credit rating.

But there are still various financial decisions that must be made by the board, many of which will be discussed at tonight's meeting. The school board meets at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at the .

The agenda includes a discussion about transportation options. Last week, the district on parents, but all would involve a price increase.

Additionally, the board is working to determine how much money the district can spend this year on priority building projects. The district has identified about $3.4 million in projects it would like to complete this year.

One vote that will occur tonight, mostly because of timing issues related to ordering materials in time, is whether to approve $210,722 for new windows at .

Sara January 25, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I do think that our schools are doing a good job of maintaining programs while facing reductions in funding. No matter what they do, they will never make everyone happy and change is hard for some people. Leave the bussing the way it is, everyone is use to it now and it is cost effective.
Concerned Parent January 25, 2012 at 05:34 PM
You don't get it...the students have LOST time in their core courses to accommodate the bus schedule. The intermediate buildings have to wait til 8 or so for the band/orchestra students to arrive...no graded instruction is happening until 8:00. The students should not be sitting in more than half empty classrooms for that half hour. The students learning has been compromised because of the bus change. They need more classroom instruction not less. Our ISAT scores are not that great! The "R.T.I." instruction is a joke during that "advisory" class!
NLMom January 25, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I agree with Concerned Parent. Just because the schedule is what it is doesn't mean everyone is accustomed to it. It is not working well for many. I have a child sitting and waiting for 30 minutes for the band students to arrive. Our kids should not be losing any educational time or wasting 2.5 hours a week waiting on a bus. 2.5 hours a week is valuable education time that isn't being used. To Michael is there any update as to when that survey might go up on Power School?
Sara January 25, 2012 at 08:42 PM
So they are holding up the entire school day for a few kids and you are blaming the bus! How about the teacher and the principal? My kids are in orchestra and they are late to their classes all the time (due to the bussing) and it is their responsibility to make up the missing work. Why are you not at the school complaining or doing something constructive about it? By the way, I do get it - I'm a teacher and the teacher is the one in charge of the classroom - NOT A BUS!
Sara January 25, 2012 at 08:44 PM
your right, they should not be waiting and it is up to the teacher and principal to make sure that that time is used well. You should be upset with the teacher and principal - NOT A BUS! So do something about it that is constructive!
Concerned Parent January 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM
How can a teacher move forward with curriculum when more than 3/4 of the classroom is missing cause of band? So you would rather your child miss out on direct core curriculum instruction instead of changing the bus schedule or better yet the band schedule. The bus IS the problem. These were not issues last year. My kids are band kids too. They should have band as an elective that does NOT interfere with other students...here is a solution start school at 8 and have the band kids start at 715. Perfect...win win...is that constructuve enough for you sara?
NLMom January 26, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I don't think it's up to the teachers, Sara. The district has made this an advisory time only, meaning no instruction time. That's coming from the district office. Concerned Parent is right, the buses are the problem as is the too early of a start time.
hazelgreen January 26, 2012 at 01:55 AM
What grades are the kids waiting on the band members?
Sara January 26, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Its advisory - aka: study hall. So instead of having advisory later in the day - like my kids at the jr. High, they have it first. this isn't wasted time. Teachers are available for tutoring and for extra help. My kids are orchestra kids and they do miss some core curriculum at the jr. high due to the busses running late. And no that is not constructive enough for me because if that is you big idea - have you presented it to the board at the meetings? I haven't seen you at the meeting to discuss this (because no parents come to the meetings!) That would be constructive! Anyone can have an idea - it takes a lot more to actually try to implement it.
Sara January 26, 2012 at 06:52 PM
4 - 6 only

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