By Chris Fox

The Aug. 23 meeting of the Elmhurst School District 205 Board meeting included a presentation about the district’s tentative 2022-23 budget, delivered by Christopher Whelton, the district’s assistant superintendent of finance and operations. Whelton stated that there would be a public hearing about the tentative budget at 7 p.m., just prior to the board’s next regular meeting.

Whelton’s presentation noted that the district’s 2022 fiscal year ended on June 30, 2022. The presentation related that the district receives nearly 91 percent of its operating revenues from local sources. The presentation added that property taxes represent about 82 percent of the district’s operating revenues.

The district collected about $64.1 million in property tax revenues in its 2022 fiscal year, according to Whelton. That amount represented approximately $4.1 million more than the district anticipated it would receive during that fiscal year. The district planned to receive that $4.1 million in the 2023 fiscal year, but a shift in the structure of property tax payments led to more early payments before the end of the district’s 2022 fiscal year.

The district’s tentative budget for its fiscal 2023 year projects that its operating funds will have revenues of about $151.5 million, and expenditures of about $162 million, resulting in a loss of about $10.5 million that would reduce the operating funds’ balance from about $68.2 million to about $57.7 million.

Whelton stated that the expenditures in the tentative budget include $7 million in investments in the district’s school buildings. That amount includes expenses related to increasing the scope of various capital projects at the district’s schools. While noting some of the capital expenses, Whelton mentioned that all of the district’s schools have new vestibules that offer additional security.

He stated that if it weren’t for the $4.1 million in earlier-than-anticipated property tax payments and the $7 million in expenses related to capital projects, the district would be projected a positive income during its 2023 fiscal year.

Whelton said the tentative budget reflected 1,171.33 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, a reduction of 3.75 (FTE) positions from the 2021-22 school year. He said that salaries and benefits normally make up about 80 percent of the district’s expenditures. He said the district is focused on maintaining its current staff levels.

Board member Jim Collins commented during Whelton’s presentation that the biggest driver of the district’s budget is personnel. Collins said that the district has added about 100 certified staffing positions in the last 10 years, while its student population has increased by approximately 50 students during that same period.

 

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