'Difficult decisions ahead' for Villa Grove schools budget

VILLA GROVE — New Superintendent Mary Ann Manos had some good news and bad news about the proposed 2013-2014 budget.

The district has met its first goal of the Illinois State Board of Education Deficit Reduction Plan that was put into place last year. After an all-time deficit of $686,000 during the 2012-2013 school year, the board has cut around $300,000 from its budget. The goal for this year's budget was to limit deficit spending to under $450,000, which was accomplished.

However, "there is another year of difficult decisions ahead," Manos said.

The goal for the next year is to cut the deficit to under $226,000.

"If we can work out the plan, by the 2015-2016 school year, we will have no deficit," Manos said.

She reported that the district expects the same amount of income from both federal and state funding sources in the coming year. State vouchers are paid up and the state no longer owes the district money. Although no further funding reductions are anticipated, the district is still only receiving about 89 percent of what it is due from the state.

The district can also expect to start receiving money from the countywide 1 percent sales tax in May 2014. Manos advised the board members to start asking constituents how they would like to see the money spent. The income from this tax is marked for maintenance and construction.

The proposed 2013-2014 budget will be posted on the school district's website for review. A public hearing on the budget is planned for Sept. 16.

 

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