District 308 Narrows Budget Deficit to $3.8 Million

District will delay in hiring of some staff and delay purchase of new textbooks.

Four weeks ago the Board released a budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that contained a

That amount has been narrowed to $3.8 million, Superintendent Matthew Wendt announced at Monday night's board meeting.

In fact, Wendt said the budget deficit had actually started at just over $7.5 million, but several weeks of effort in July and August had decreased it to the $5.5 million presented in the original draft.

Wendt said “bold moves” were made to decrease the budget by $1.7 million.

“We’re really doing a great job of cutting where we need to, but not affecting the classroom, which is key,” he said.

The cuts include:

  • Delaying the hiring of additional custodial staff at Murphy Junior High
  • Delaying hiring of some staff
  • Eliminating consulting fees
  • Delaying the purchase of some textbooks, specifically junior high math textbooks
  • Scale back on some technology purchases

“Not to say we don’t need new textbooks,” said Wendt, “but we need also understand that elementary curriculum ties should be aligned with higher levels.”

As for the technology, Wendt said some purchases have been made with federal dollars because of the Title One school status for some locations.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” said Wendt. “I don’t want any surprises. But when we start getting to that $3 million or under range [in budget cuts] we’re going to start to notice it in our schools.”

District 308 will be pursuing E-Rate reimbursements, for which they believe there is about $400k worth of reimbursements dating back to FY 2011.

Wendt said that based on the cuts made, and to reduce the affect on the school, he feels the district will need to use cash reserves.

Board member Dave Behrens said he didn’t have a problem with using the cash reserves, so long as there is a plan.

“Technology is going to get worse, textbooks are going to get worse,” he said. “This would be a one year flip.”

Wendt also said there are parts of the budget that have yet to be examined, and that the budget always looks different later in the year.

“There’s going to be revenue that can offset on paper what we would use from the reserve.”

Board member Alison Swanson asked how the budget deficit will impact taxpayers.

“Right now there wouldn’t be one because we’d be pulling from the reserves,” said board president Bill Walsh.

The final budget will be presented and voted on at the Sept. 24 board meeting at .

retired teacher September 18, 2012 at 07:49 PM
In 308 teachers pay their own TRS. It is taken out of their pay and sent to the state. Teachers pay 9.4% of their salary towards their pension and the district pays about .6% of their salary. The amount paid by the teachers is negotiated in their contracts. Also teachers and other staff pay 25% for their health insurance. Again this is a negotiated item. Adminstrators had free health insurance but new administrators are supposed to pay a portion of it.
Steven September 18, 2012 at 08:23 PM
It's amazing that these unions still exist in this day and age. There are some PHENOMENAL teachers in this district that deserve so much more. Unfortunately they get "averaged in" with other far less performing "educators". In business the stars rise and their comp follows....while the employees that are on social sites during the day and are the first ones to tear out of the parking lot as if the Flintstones whistle went off get paid what THEY deserve.....LESS. I feel bad for many of these awesome teachers. I wish we could put a 2012 calendar on the wall and say enough is enough with these unions. The positive trickle effect would be far reaching.
Tim September 18, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Not true, at all. Then why is the D308 documentation showing that the pay schedule is salary+TRS, as in PLUS TRS contribution? This has been shown to be the case in multiple sources, one of which is the actual labor agreement between the union and the district. Your confusion on this matter does not translate to facts in the outside world. It is not a strong point for you when the majority of teachers are not even aware of what their union is doing.
Oswego Resident September 18, 2012 at 08:48 PM
retired teacher - according to the link in Tim's post above, your statement appears to be false. Have you looked at the report contained therein? Please do, and pay attention to the chart at the end. It appears that CUSD 204, Indian Prairie ie: Waubonsee Valley, Nequa et al do not make any contribution on behalf of their teachers. they seem to be okay.
JimmyJ September 18, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Maybe the teachers have failed Everyday Math !! LOL It's easy enough, it shoudl be somewhere in the D308 budget when the district pays into the TRS.


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