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posted: 8/17/2013 8:00 AM

Dist. 211 board of education approves tentative budget

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The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board of education approved a tentative 2013-14 budget at Thursday night's meeting.

Total direct expenditures amount to $249.1 million, an increase of about 7.3 percent from actual expenditures in 2012-13. Salaries and benefits account for more than 75 percent of the expenditures.

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Total direct revenue amounts to $239.8 million, an increase of about 0.9 percent from actual revenue in 2012-13. Local property taxes account for 86 percent of the revenue in the proposed budget.

While the cumulative budget is projected to be $9.3 million over in expenditures, Associate Superintendent for Business David Torres said the operating budget is in the black, with $224.3 million in revenues over $217.1 million in expenditures.

The projected surplus balance of $7.1 million in the operating funds includes an extra $3 million in the educational fund, an extra $2.4 million in the operations and maintenance fund and an extra $13,000 in the transportation fund.

"It's prudent to maintain reserves," Torres said, adding that they're necessary for unforeseen expenses such as catastrophic insurance mandated by Quinn earlier this month or a possible pension cost shift from the state to local school districts in the future.

In the district's restrictive funds, there are planned deficits of $3.8 million in the debt service fund, $8.1 million in the capital projects fund and $4.6 million in the life safety fund, Torres said.

The debt service fund deficit is due to a levy reduction through the use of reserves that has been in place since 2007. Since then, the district has reduced the overall levy by $24.3 million.

The capital projects fund deficit reflects $6.1 million in renovations to Palatine High School's main office and kitchen and $2 million in initial pool renovation costs at Conant High School. Funds for these projects will be transferred from operations and maintenance fund reserves.

The life safety fund deficit reflects the cost of state-mandated projects, such as roof replacements and electric work, that ensure District 211 facilities are in compliance with school building codes. The board approved the sale of $16 million in life safety bonds during the 2012-13 school year to fund the projects.

The tentative budget is available for public viewing at the district administration center, in local libraries and on d211.org.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the district's administration center, 1750 Roselle Road in Palatine. The board is scheduled to adopt the budget that night after the hearing.

Budget: Public hearing slated for Sept. 26

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