Tentative budget now on display in Homer 33C

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Aug. 31, 2016

 

Tentative budget now on display in Homer 33C

 

Homer School District 33C continues to work at bringing expenditures in line with revenues while providing fair, competitive compensation to its employees.

 

On Thursday, administrators presented a tentative budget plan to the school board showing $45,924,558 in revenues and $46,209,470 in expenses in the Education, Operations & Maintenance and Transportation funds.

 

Highlights include:

  • A continued investment in 21st century learning with resources committed to Chromebooks, computers, projectors and the STEAM labs
  • The purchase of eight new school buses
  • A generator at Homer Junior High to provide power to computers during power outages
  • Roof repairs at Butler School
  • Chiller replacement at Butler School
  • Asphalt repairs throughout the district

 

Unknown at this time are compensation packages for certified staff. Homer 33C teachers are currently negotiating a contract settlement with the district.

 

As it stands now, the district is expected to end fiscal year 2017 with a deficit of $284,912 in its Education, Operations & Maintenance and Transportation funds.

 

Administrators attribute the deficit to rising insurance costs.

 

“Renewal on the district’s fully insured benefit program is increasing 9.6 percent on the PPO plan, 1.5 percent on the HMO Illinois Plan and 1.5 percent on the Blue Advantage HMO plan,” said Christi Tyler, interim assistant superintendent for business. “That averages to an 8.2 percent overall increase — or $758,190.”

 

Absent from this year’s budget are debt payments related to the expansion and renovation of Schilling School — the district’s oldest facility on Cedar Road.

 

“We made our final payment of $3,828,070 last fiscal year and are anxious to begin rebuilding our reserves so that we are prepared for any unforeseen expenditures or legislative changes that could have an adverse impact on property rich school districts like Homer 33C,” said Superintendent Kara Coglianese.

 

Legislators are currently looking at a number of ways to address the state’s fiscal crisis, including:

  • A change in the state funding formula by shifting revenues to those districts with the least amount of local resources and the highest percentage of needs students (Senate Bill 231)
  • Altering both real estate tax and income tax policy, including multiple year tax freeze (House Bill 696)
  • Shifting massive pension obligations from the state to school districts

 

“Virtually every piece of legislation currently considered in Springfield will have an adverse impact on property rich school districts like Homer,” said Tyler.

 

A change in the state funding formula (Senate Bill 231), for example, will cost Homer 33C an estimated $2.9 million annually.  A multiple year tax freeze would cost the district an estimated $1.3 million annually.

 

And if the state were to shift its massive pension obligations onto school districts, Homer 33C would have to absorb an additional $800,000 to $1.8 million in annual expenses.

 

“Districts like Homer must be aware of a triple threat of all these events occurring,” said Tyler. “This would turn balanced budgets into multi-million dollar annual deficits.”

 

The tentative budget will remain on display at the district office through Sept. 29 when a public hearing will be conducted at 7:15 p.m. The school board is expected to vote on the tentative budget later that night.

 

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