Board Briefs: Aug. 24 Budget Workshop

Board Briefs: Aug. 24 Budget Workshop

The District 58 Board of Education held a special meeting and budget workshop on Monday, August 24, 2020. The meeting was live streamed to the public on the Village of Downers Grove YouTube channel. View the agenda and presentation links and access the meeting video. Highlights from the meeting include:

Tentative Budget Workshop

Assistant Superintendent for Business/CSBO Todd Drafall gave a presentation on the proposed 2020-21 budget. This year’s budget goals are to navigate the pandemic, provide consistent services to students and staff, manage the deficit, and put the District on a path back to surplus and sustainability.

View the presentation.

The budget was created with the following expenditure assumptions, many due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Special services staff have been added, while SASED and private placements have been reduced
  • Transportation costs are estimated at 98% of last year’s budget
  • Medical insurance premiums will remain flat (but still require a 2.5% increase in budget)
  • Reductions in food service costs
  • Reductions in substitute pay, overtime and instructional assistants
  • Increases for personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, rental of tents and storage containers
  • Increases for contracted services (snow removal, landscape, repairs) to allow District operations staff more time for cleaning and sanitizing
  • Field trips, athletics, outdoor education and related staff stipends resume in spring 2021

Losses in revenue for this fiscal year total $2.12 million:

  • $1 million in OKEEP fees
  • $125,000 in preschool tuition, bus fees, and student registration fees
  • $750,000 in transportation reimbursements
  • $122,000 in interest income
  • $130,000 in Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT)

Mr. Drafall noted that the District will most likely need to borrow funds in the spring when cash on hand is traditionally low, and presented several options that the District could consider. Further long term projections may be affected by circumstances such as decreases in state revenue, negative inflation, an extended period before moving to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, or the emergence of a substantial capital need such as a roof replacement.

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell closed the presentation by noting that the pandemic has forced immediate needs to be met and others to be put off; however, District 58 cannot sustain a multi-year deficit. The district’s tax base does not allow for a large fund balance, nor is there extra programming that can easily be cut. If the crisis continues, the administration and the Board will need to have difficult conversations about long term restructuring options, such as a referendum, building utilization, boundaries, consolidating administrative centers and programs, selling assets, and restructuring staff. Development of any plan will include a robust community engagement process.

Extended Opportunity for Board and Community Communications

The Board received one recorded comment from a community member expressing concerns about teachers working in schools without air conditioning. Dr. Russell responded that the lack of air conditioning has been an ongoing concern, which is why it was included in the most recent facilities proposal from the Citizen Task Force, whose work has been paused due to the pandemic. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has clarified that teachers working alone in a classroom with the door closed may remove their masks. Teachers may also rotate through the air-conditioned spaces in each building. The IDPH also recommends opening windows and running fans to increase ventilation, both of which are encouraged in District 58 schools. When students are not in the building, exterior doors may be opened to create more air flow.

During the Meeting, the Board Also:

  • Approved the tentative budget for 2020-21, which is available for public inspection at the District office and on the District 58 website.
  • Scheduled a hearing on the final budget for Monday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Downers Grove Village Hall.
  • Adopted several policies regarding new Title IX regulations, pandemic preparedness, and isolated time out and restraint.​​​​​​​

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, August 31, 3:45 p.m - District Leadership Team Meeting
  • Friday, September 4, 7 a.m. - Financial Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Monday, September 14, 7 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Gregory Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Emily Hanus, Steven Olczyk, Jill Samonte and Tracy Weiner, with Dr. Kevin Russell, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.