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updated: 9/12/2011 4:39 AM

District 207 eliminates deficit for 2010-11 school year

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Daily Herald staff report

Maine Township High School District 207 officials say they have eliminated a projected deficit in the 2010-11 fiscal year through cost-saving measures and because the district received more revenue than was earlier anticipated.

The balanced budget follows two years of deficits totaling more than $16 million, officials said in a news release Friday.

"In these uncertain economic times, the district has worked hard to bring revenues and expenditures back into balance," Superintendent Kenneth Wallace said in the release. "Our board of education and staff deserve a lot of credit for curbing spending in virtually every area, and this was accomplished without cutting any academic or extracurricular programs for our students."

A final financial audit will be released in October and is expected to show a surplus of roughly $5 million. District 207 received revenues of roughly $2 million above budget for the 2010-2011 school year and expenditures came in about $7 million less than budgeted.

District Assistant Superintendent for Business Mary Kalou said that the two largest factors that helped revenues were the state releasing a payment of about $1.3 million for special education earlier than expected, and Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax revenue coming in higher than anticipated.

Officials had budgeted the corporate tax revenue to come in at $3.7 million for the year, but actually received $5.2 million.

The district is projected to come in at about $1 million under budget for purchased services, including such items as legal fees and transportation costs. District 207 spent $425,000 less than budgeted for natural gas and electricity.

Employee salaries and benefits were down almost $3.5 million from what was budgeted for the year largely because the district did not fill 11 vacancies and reduced its use of substitute teachers.

"This is good news for our students, staff, parents, and community," Wallace said. "While it doesn't mean that we can relax, it helps us minimize the possibility of further cuts in the short term, and it positions us to better navigate an uncertain economic future and protect the district long-term."