Dist. 95 state aid falling, but finances solid
Officals said they will get less money from the state this year in Community Unit School District 95, but that money only counts for roughly 5 percent of the budget. | Photo courtesy of District 95
Dist. 95 2013 budget breakdown
Operating budget: $72.9 million
Salaries = 60 percent
Purchased services = 14 percent
Benefits = 11 percent
Supplies and materials = 7 percent
Other objects = 5 percent
Capital outlay = 3 percent
Updated: February 7, 2013 1:06PM
LAKE ZURICH — Officials in Community Unit School District 95 said its five-year financial outlook is currently better than most, but the district will likely take a hit from the state within that time.
Howard Crouse, vice president of PMA Financial Network, Inc., presented the district’s five-year financial plan to school board officials at their Committee of the Whole meeting this winter, giving them reason to be both proud and concerned for District 95’s fiscal future.
Crouse said the district — like all others in Illinois — should expect less money coming from Illinois State Board of Education’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
“The expectation is that we will see fewer dollars from the Department of Education given out to school districts,” Crouse said.
Because it’s considered a wealthier school district, District 95 will receive the board’s foundation-level general state aid under an “alternate formula.” That means the district would receive the same $6,119 per student, though it would be prorated at about 11 percent, Crouse said. He added this would cost the district about $260,000.
“Though, the good news is that you are largely self-sufficient,” Crouse said, referring to a chart that showed general state and federal aid account for only about 5 percent of the district’s revenue.
In addition to the state aid, Crouse said that he expected the newest conversations about pension reform to ultimately result in a shifting of the cost from the state to local school districts.
Illinois legislators failed to vote on a solution to the growing pension deficit before the new General Assembly was sworn in Jan. 9. But Crouse said that Illinois’ newest lawmakers have again begun looking to put a dent in the $96 billion pension deficit.
Crouse said the smallest cost shift being discussed was .a 5 percent per year increase, and the largest a 1 percent per year increase.
Raising the employer’s share by .5 percent, for example, would cost the district $200,000 the first year, $400,000 the second year, $600,000 the third year and then $800,000 the next, he said.
Board member Doug Goldberg said these figures were “sobering,” but Crouse said District 95’s financial health looked more stable than the nearly 200 other districts he’s consulted.
“You are one of the few of our 160-plus districts in which I could say your outlook is very solid; you are, in fact, looking at building a slight fund balance over the next five years,” Crouse said, adding that most of those other districts had fund balance trend lines that dropped off.
Revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2013 anticipate a year end balance of about $42.3 million; for 2014, $44.78 million; for 2015, $45.17 million ; for 2016, $46.2 million; for 2017, $47.79 million; and for 2018, $47.3 million.
Crouse said he used fiscal year 2013 as the basis for his projections, in addition to five years of audited annual financial reports; tax rates; equalized assessed valuation; enrollment; staffing ratios; and compensation and benefits provided.