Belleville District 118’s school board approved the budget for the coming year, which includes a deficit of more than $650,000. Considering the previous year’s deficit was about $2.7 million, administraotrs are pleased.
“If the sate was not pro-rating state aid, we wouldn’t have a problem,” Superintendent Matt Klosterman said. More than 50 percent of the district’s funding comes from the state, with 33 percent coming from local revenue and 12 percent coming from the federal government.
Board member Dianne Zimmerman complimented the administrators for weathering the financial storm.
“You’re right, we have weathered it pretty well, but we’re still in it,” Klosterman said, citing continuing declines in local revenues because of the decrease in the property tax base and the state pro-rating payments.
“We have not cut a program, we have not had to cut a position in a program for someone who works with kids, even in tough times,” Ryan Boike, assistant superintendent of finance, said.
The district budgets with revenues expected to be low and expenditures budgeted as “worst case”, Boike said, and part of the reason for the deficit in the 2015-2016 school year’s budget is because of revenue that counts toward last year, even though the expenses are for this year. He said the state audit of the district’s finances, which include both money management and how the funds are recorded, was overall very positive.
A teacher and a paraprofessional were hired to add a half-day pre-kindergarten classroom at Washington Elementary. Brittney Vanwaes has been with the district before, it is paraprofessional Kristina Hebel’s first job with the district.
Administrator salaries were discussed in closed session, and the board reopened the meeting to vote on the increases.
▪ Tracy Gray, assistant superintendent for curriculum, went from $110,000 salary to $113,850.
▪ Ryan Boike, assistant superintendent for finance, went from $120,890 to $125,100.
▪ Matt Klosterman, superintendent, went from $147,923 to $152,000.
‘Foster grandparents’ at schools
The board approved an understanding with the PSOP program based at Southwestern Illinois College for a “foster grandparent” program. One of the schools who have a similar program is Douglas Elementary, whose principal was at the meeting for her report to the board.
“We have four foster grandparents that are very active at Douglas; I’m talking four days a week for three of them and five days a week for the other,” said Principal Teresa Blomenkamp. “Wow, they bring a lot to the building.”
Parent Noah Bruemmer addressed the board in public session with concerns about Lindenwood University students using Union School grounds as a shortcut to class. He said he had witnessed college students doing so, and had talked to playground supervisors and others who agreed that it was a concern.
“Our relationship is that we’re neightbors,” Klosterman said. “But there’s never been any conversation that students can cut through our property.”
Klosterman said the district was already talking about additional signage to clarify the property, “it’s not an open campus.”
Budget for 2015-2016 school year
Education fund: $4,647 deficit
Operations and Maintenance fund: $206,300 deficit
Transportation fund: $643,603 deficit
Working cash fund: $166,659 surplus
Total revenues: $37,551,811
Total expenditures: $38,239,702
Total Deficit: $687,891