Harper Wants Direction on Dealing with $3.2M Deficit
While much smaller than anticipated, the shortfall is still sizable in 2013 and expected to grow annually through 2017, officials say.
The Plainfield District 202 school board will host a special meeting in the coming weeks to deal with a projected $3.2 million operating fund deficit for fiscal year 2013.
While the district’s finances have greatly improved with the ratification of two union contracts, the district is still facing operating fund deficits starting in 2013 and continuing through 2017, according to a profile from the district’s financial advisors PMA Financial Network.
An amended budget approved earlier this month, which includes additional federal E-Rate and Title I grants as well as savings from the teacher’s union and support staff union contracts and non-personnel cuts has helped turn a projected $9.2 million deficit into about a $600,000 surplus for the 2012 fiscal year.
But Supt. John Harper said it is difficult to sustain non-personnel cuts for an extended period of time.
He asked the board to give the district administration direction on how to proceed with the anticipated $3.2 million fiscal year 2013 deficit so they will know if programs or personnel will be cut to balance the budget.
Salaries and benefits make up about 79 percent of the district’s budget. Health insurance is projected to increase 10 percent each year and dental insurance is expected to increase by 5 percent per year.
According to the PMA report, the district is anticipating fiscal year 2014 to be about $630,000 in the red. The district is likely to have a $1.4 million operating fund deficit by fiscal year 2015, a $4 million deficit by fiscal year 2016 and a $5.5 million deficit by fiscal year 2017.
The district is likely to be in the state’s financial watch list -- the worst of four indictors of financial stability -- from 2014 through 2017.
PMA senior financial advisor Scott Smith said the district has a better outlook than it did in the fall, but nonetheless, budget deficits loom.