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|District 205 Board Approves Tentative Budget Loaded With Uncertainties
|The Galesburg School District's tentative budget for the new fiscal year reflects a major cut in state grant funds coming in, which if things don't change, will result in some tough decisions in the near future.
Guy Cahill, the new assistant superintendent for finance and operations, presented the school board Monday night with a $41.3 million budget that he refers to as balanced but uncertain. Much of the uncertainty is tied to the still unresolved state budget. Most of the budget - $34.2 million - is for education purposes - primarily salaries and benefits. The board approved it, as well as the tentative budgets for the Knox-Warren Special Education District and the Galesburg Area Vocational Center.
Cahill says the spending plan anticipates declining revenues in the form of property taxes, corporate tax receipts, investment income and, the biggest hit, a 50 percent cut in state grants applied across the board. Cahill says in order to keep the programs that have been paid for with grant dollars, the district may be forced to tap other funds.
"Which of course is a drain on what otherwise would be monies that would fall to reserves and/or, in the past, capital outlay projects."
The tentative budget allots around $700,000 for capital expenditures compared to over $2 million in the current budget. Cahill says he's also concerned about how to potentially fill the void of about $5 million in federal stimulus funds, which are supplemental to state aid dollars, that he believes will go away as early as soon as the end of the new fiscal year.
Cahill says the budget projects a "modest" surplus.
He's suggested taking a close look at the grant programs to make sure the district is getting "the most bang for its buck." If so, Cahill said the district needs to find a way to continue the programs, and if not, take the necessary actions to eliminate them as early as February.
The District 205 budget proposal and the two other tentative spending plans will be on display for 60 days, Public hearings for all three are scheduled for September 14th beginning at 6:40 p-m in the board room.
|07 14 09 by Newsroom
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