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posted: 8/26/2014 7:34 AM

District 54 adopts 2014-15 budget

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School District 54

The District 54 School Board adopted its 2014-15 budget after a public hearing at its August 21, 2014, meeting. District 54 expects to spend $234,676,600 during the 2014-15 budget year and receive $220,952,511 in revenues.

District 54 developed the 2014-15 budget based on the following parameters:

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Interest income remains at historic lows.

Property taxes are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 1.7 percent in 2013 and is estimated at 2.0 percent in 2014.

Federal aid is estimated to show minor increases.

State aid is expected to remain flat. District 54 does not know for certain how much revenue it will receive from the state for the current year or for any projected year because of the funding deficiencies facing the state. However, we feel that we can project flat funding based on the budget approved by the Illinois General Assembly. Senate Bill 16 has passed the Senate and is currently sitting with the House for action. This new state funding model would eliminate $13 million in state funding for District 54.

There will continue to be a freeze on overall cumulative spending in supplies, purchased services and capital outlay. The only exceptions are in the Operations and Maintenance, capital projects and life safety funds, where the cost of services, such as electricity, can't be controlled; and in the Education Fund for planned textbook and technology adoptions.

District 54 will issue no new debt and has been debt free since Dec. 1, 2011.

District 54 will use reserves to fund capital outlay expenses instead of issuing new debt. The deficit in the Operations and Maintenance Fund, for example, is due to the expenses involved in the early learning center project. District 54 will cover those expenses with its reserves funds.

Benefit costs are projected to increase by about 5 percent annually.

To view the detailed 2014-15 budget, visit the District 54 Board of Education website at http://sd54.org/board and click on the budget link in the August 21 Board Brief.

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