The Belleville District 201 School Board accepted the state’s audit of its budget for fiscal year 2015, with the assistant superintendent of finance noting the state gave a “silver lining” in the report.
Brian Mentzer said the audit looks at 44 areas in the financial statements, and one particular area has been a sticking point for several years.
“If any single cell, and there are thousands in our budget ... if you exceed any single cell by 10 percent it becomes an audit finding,” he said of the financial reports. That 10 percent is true “whether that cell amount has a million or a thousand,” he said.
“They tried to create a silver lining by saying last year it was in eight areas and this year only seven ... we’ll continue to work on it,” he said.
Mentzer also told the board that this is an area in which “we cannot complain about not getting revenues, this is management of expenses and forecasting of expenses.”
The board also approved the budget for fiscal year 2016, or this school year. He reported beginning balances of $6.6 million, which is down “significantly” in part because of decreases in state funding and in real estate payments. The budget was approved without discussion.
Belleville West Principal Rich Mertens stood up before a few dozen at the monthly District 201 board meeting with a sheaf of papers in his hands.
He was there to recognize five Belleville West students for their honors and achievements, as well as a teacher. He had a short speech prepared for each of them.
▪ Chloe Frisby and Romeo Spells, members of the Vocal Music Program, were selected in the All-National Honor Ensemble Concert, which will be on Oct. 25-28 in Nashville, Tenn. The last day of the Oct. 25-28 conference will feature a concert at the Grand Ole Opry House. Romeo Spells is also a leader with Town Meeting for Tomorrow, sponsored by the National Council on Youth Leadership.
▪ Bailey Guinn and Janae Robinson were named to the All-State Drama Cast at the 2015 IHSA Sectional Title in Drama, two of 26 such actors in the state.
▪ Kara Luectefeld is the school’s representative at the Illinois Rural Youth Day; from there she was selected to represent the area in Washington, D.C. in June.
▪ Bill Houck “has exemplified the standards of excellence” and organized the District 201 Alumni Soccer game on Saturday, raising more than $2500 for the two soccer programs.
Belleville East Principal Jason Karstens recognized Social Studies teacher Andrea Seipp for her efforts with Democracy Schools, noting that the result of the grant she worked for was 200 registered voters.
Andrea Gannon, director of alternative programs, recognized Jolene Carver, an English teacher at the school. Carver is one of five teachers and two teacher’s aides, Gannon said, and mentors all of them.