Eastland amends budget to reflect shortfall in state payments

LANARK – The Eastland School District is expecting a slight deficit in its transportation fund because of a lack of state payments.

Superintendent Mark Hansen told the school board Monday that the state is about $86,000 short this year on its education fund payments and about $180,000 short in the transportation fund. He said this year’s budget has been amended to reflect the shortfalls.

Transportation expenses will outweigh revenues by about $45,000 this year – $622,167 in revenue and $667,607 in expenses, but reserves will have the fund sitting at $1.275 million by the end of the fiscal year.

The unreceived state money represents 28 percent of the budgeted transportation revenues for the year.

The district had two buses needing unexpected engine repairs, costing about $8,100.

The education fund will have a surplus of about $700,000, with a projected ending fund balance of about $5.2 million.

Hansen said the district doesn’t anticipate receiving any more state payments by June 30.

“The state comptroller (Susana Mendoza) testified last week not to expect any more payments this fiscal year. They’re trying to get the Legislature to pass a budget by the end of May,” he said.

The district has reserves to cover the difference, but those will start to diminish for next year if the funds never arrive.

“In the past, sometimes when they’ve been late, we get it at the start of the next school year,” Hansen said.

A public hearing on the amended budget will take place before the board’s regular meeting on June 21. To view the budget, go to eastland308.com under District Info.

The board also recognized district secretary and bookkeeper DiAnn Adolph, who received the 2016-17 Illinois Principals Association Northwest Illinois Leadership Award for Non-certified Support Personnel, a new category this year.

Steve Heckert with the IPA presented Adolph with the award. She will retire Oct. 31, after 39 years with the district.

“So much for going out quietly,” Adolph joked, before thanking everyone for the award. She said Eastland has been a wonderful place to be.

In board reports, Eastland Elementary School Principal Angela Mahoney gave an update on the district’s new remedial summer reading program, for K-2 students whose reading skills are significantly below grade level.

“We’re full as of this morning,” she said. “We have six second-graders, three kindergarteners, and three first-graders.”

The board approved the program at its March 13 meeting. The initiative will cost about $14,000 for three licensed teachers, who will plan and implement the program.

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