District 200 ends fiscal year with positive balance
Woodstock School District 200 ended its fiscal year in solid financial shape, according to a report by chief financial officer Risa Hanson.
“Considering the uncertainty of state funding, our finances are in a very positive position,” Hanson said.
She provided a review of the district’s fourth-quarter budget at the Board of Education’s meeting July 17.
Each of the district’s three main operating funds ended the 2011-12 budget year with a positive balance and revenues that exceeded expenditures.
In the education fund, the district received $47,715,955, which was slightly above its projections. Local property taxes were up by $400,000, and tuition from out-of-district students enrolled at Clay Academy and in the district’s life-skills and autism programs were approximately 45 percent above projections. These helped lessen the impact of other revenue sources, which fell below projection.
Education fund expenditures were $46,781,614, with only one category, supplies and materials, going over budget.
“It’s just a function of our needs this year. We had several software licenses that renewed, but overall expenditures were 96 percent of what we budgeted,” Hanson said.
In February, the district imposed a spending freeze due to uncertainty about state funding, Hanson said.
“We were very cautious about what we spent money on,” she said.
Revenues in the operations and maintenance fund were slightly below budget, at $7,005,215, but lower-than-expected expenditures helped the fund to balance.
“Our utilities were down because of the mild winter and because we’d been able to get favorable rates,” Hanson said.
The district’s total O&M expenditures were $6,696,174. Utility costs for this year were 85 percent of what was budgeted.
The transportation fund had revenue of $3,988,644 and expenditures of $3,915,415. Hanson said the district received two delayed reimbursements from the state from last year and three from the current year. Because the district is legally obligated to provide transportation to students, even when promised state funding does not arrive, this area is one of the most vulnerable.
Though the new budgeting year officially began July 1, Illinois school districts do not formally adopt their budgets until September.
For the upcoming year, Hanson said that transportation reimbursement is expected to remain at its current level, which is 60 percent of what the state once provided. Likewise, general state aid is expected to be about 89 percent of what the district is qualified to receive.
Hanson said she recently learned of a $90,000 cut to an early childhood education grant. She could not provide specifics of how the drop would impact the program, but suspected it could come in the form of fewer materials purchased or reductions to parent education.
“We haven’t had time to look at what we might reduce, but those are possible areas,” she said.
Board member Sue Palmore commended the district’s efforts.
“You’re doing a very good job in managing your money,” she said.