205 board approves FY 2021 budgets

The District 205 Board of Education on Monday night approved the fiscal year 2021 budgets for both the full district and Galesburg Area Vocational Center.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operation, Jennifer Hamm, told board members during her presentation that the district was facing many challenges because of the pandemic.

Due to the pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty about how the state will fund education with decreases in several taxes. Hamm said the state is seeing a $2.2 billion dollar decrease in revenues.

She said one of the challenges is funding from the state’s evidence-based model.

“This year, when the state passed the FY 2021 budget, there was flat funding for the evidence-based model and with all the categorical grants. That budget was predicated on the idea that the graduated income tax would pass in November.”

She said there were many other issues that they have to manage, including a decrease in the one-cent sales tax. Hamm said the district has seen monthly declines in revenues from that and are “hopefully” expecting to see a 10 percent decline in the sales tax.

Hamm also said that the effects of the pandemic could possibly be felt for years to come.

“I think it was at the last board meeting, I had mentioned that in 2008, when we had the mortgage crisis, it took about 3-5 years before we saw the full impact of that mortgage crisis. They’re anticipating, through the federal budget office, that that same trend is going to occur with COVID.”

Board documents show the district’s budget for the year will be down $7.2 million dollars but Hamm said it was not because of anything more than a revenue shortfall.

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