Pekin District 108 Board President Chris Spanos wants to know where the line will be drawn to stop draining the rainy day fund.
The 108 Board listened to an end of Fiscal Year 2016 report and projects for the 2017 school year at its meeting Monday where the board learned that the District has a projected $293,334 deficit in FY 2017.
The Board received the same bad news last year at this time when it learned the District was faced with a $1,058,105 deficit for all funds.
The Board learned that two certified staff positions had not been filled to help keep costs down, as well as other cuts.
District Business Manager Glayn Worrell is projecting at the end of this year, the district will have $6.2 million in reserves.
The state keeps juggling school funding. This year, it took away $384,099 in Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax and designated those funds for higher education. That lead to discussion on reserves.
“At what point are we waiting for payments we assume were going to get, but do not,” said Spanos. “I don’t mean to be too sarcastic, but it’s year after year ...”
Worrell said the district is fortunate that it has built up savings over the years.
“We just have to decide at what point, how far we want to dig into the savings before we start taking more extreme measures,” said Worrell.
Superintendent Bill Link said the state did “surprise” the District one time and sent all the money it owed in the fiscal year one year.
He said the district typically gets the money owed by the state, but not in the fiscal year it is owed. The state still owes the District $717,984 for FY 2016 special education, school lunch program, transportation and other programs.
“The problem is if we take, just talking out loud here, if we take more drastic measures we would be addressing personnel,” said Link.
“But at what point do we say we’ve got to do something,” said Spanos. “This isn’t my profession.
“I don’t know what other educators would do, what other districts would do. That’s what I’m looking for — advice on when do we start doing that.”
Worrell said the district is not there yet.
“It’s not an easy question to answer because to take too drastic action too soon, then things turn around ...,” said Worrell.
“One of the goals that we had five years ago was to stretch what we had as far as we could,” said Link. “Today we ended up with about what we started with five years ago.
“We’ve been ebbing forward — it’s not up and down, up and down. ... We’ve been working on what we can control and that is expenditures. If the board decided we don’t want to get below a $5 million threshold in our reserves, then that’s something we would have to plan for. How would we do that? We would have to look at all of the expenditures and find out first what’s the least impactful things to do.”
Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin