District 203 approves budget with a $1.5 million deficit
The Naperville Unit District 203 board on Monday unanimously approved a $312.6 million budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year that includes a $1.5 million deficit.
The budget amount represents a 4% increase from the previous year. Salaries and benefits account for $245 million of the budget, a 4.1% increase, including the addition of two directors of outreach and student belonging. They would assist students feeding into Naperville Central and Naperville North high schools.
Personnel costs account for about 79% of total expenditures for the fiscal year.
"I know (the two new positions have) been really welcomed by families, and so I'm really excited about that new initiative," board President Kristin Fitzgerald said. "I'm grateful that was proposed and we can put that forward."
Even though the budget includes the $1.5 million deficit, the district's chief financial officer, Michael Frances, noted that's less than half of 1% of the overall budget. The district's fund balance at the end of next June is expected to remain at more than $116 million.
Board members questioned the elimination of a $2.1 million contingency fund that helped narrow the deficit, especially with a potential a spike in upcoming expenses because of inflation. District officials, though, said the contingency fund hasn't been fully utilized in recent years, and there's flexibility in the budget to account for unexpected expenses.
District officials also highlighted existing labor agreements. While negotiations are continuing with the Naperville Unit Maintenance Association on a contract that expires June 30, contracts with the Naperville Unit Education Association, Naperville Education Support Professionals Association and Naperville Transportation Association run through at least 2024.
The district will receive $5.65 million more in property tax money compared to the previous fiscal year, an increase of 2.2%, while receiving $3.4 million less in federal money due to a reduction in available COVID-related funds.
"The vast majority of the revenue increase is coming from local sources," Frances said.