Auditor positive on Villa Grove school finances
VILLA GROVE — The school board received a positive auditor's report considering the recent financial struggles for the district.
"Controlling expenses is the key to survival and you are headed in the right direction," said Russ Leigh of Russell Leigh and Associates.
This is the first year Leigh has conducted the annual audit for the school district. Leigh reported that the operations and maintenance fund and the transportation fund had good fund balances, but the education fund was showing a deficit. He also recommended some changes in the tort fund to keep down some heavy expenditures in that fund.
The district spends an average of $9,052 per student. Leigh says that amount is in line with other school districts of the same size. "If that number is way high, it means expenditures are too high. That's a key indicator for me," Leigh said.
Superintendent Mary Ann Manos said she had already identified some "red flags in the budget." She will be looking at the tort fund, special education funds and substitute costs, as the district looks to cut another $200,000 from their budget next year. The budget cuts are necessary to keep the district in line with their current debt reduction plan.