D-15's Next Budget Forums Will Seek Stakeholders’ Solutions

Community Consolidated School District 15’s second round of budget information forums will be held Monday, January 23.

Community Consolidated School District 15’s second round of budget information forums will be held Monday, January 23, at Walter R. Sundling Junior High, 1100 N. Smith Street in Palatine. A forum for staff will be held from 4-5:30 p.m., and a forum for community members will follow from 7-8:30 p.m.

In contrast to the District’s first round of informational forums held in December, these next forums will be designed to elicit participants’ feedback on solutions to the District’s structural deficit.

Earlier this fall, the District 15 Board of Education directed Superintendent Scott Thompson and his administrative staff to compile a list of potential budget cuts totaling $10 million. That list is intended to guide the District as it works to determine how much to reduce its expenditures for the 2012-13 school year, as recently updated financial forecasts show growing annual budget shortfalls draining the District’s reserve funds over the next five years.

The District is projected to run a $6.2 million deficit this year, and, without any reductions, a nearly $10 million deficit in fiscal year 2012-13. If not addressed, annual budget shortfalls such as these are projected to reduce the District’s current fund balance of about $55 million, which represents roughly 40 percent of its budget, to about $4.8 million, or roughly 3 percent of its budget, by the end of fiscal year 2015-16.

The District’s Leadership Team will use the input received from the January 23 forums to finalize a budget reduction proposal that will be presented at the Board’s February 8 meeting. That presentation will include the list of $10 million in potential budget cuts and the amount of expenditures the administration recommends cutting in order to keep the District in a strong financial position through at least the 2014-2015 school year.

Once the budget reduction proposal is presented to the Board, the District will solicit the community’s feedback on the plan, and incorporate that input into a revised proposal for the Board to act upon at its March 14 meeting.

-Story Submitted by Community Consolidated School District 15

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