Education
1:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Westside District 66 facing $5 million budget shortfall

Westside District 66 officials are starting the process of putting together the school district’s 2013-14 budget.

Superintendent Blane McCann says a $5 million shortfall is anticipated. Property tax values are expected to be nearly the same as this budget year, with a 4 to 5 percent increase in state aid. District 66 projects revenue will increase about 3 percent in the 2013-14 budget year. Expenses will be 5.7 percent more.

McCann says resolving the budget shortfall will require Westside to make some “difficult decisions.” And he says the Legislature fully restoring state aid to schools would help. 

“As revenue tightens up or even in some cases decreases, our other expenses do not, whether that’s utilities, costs of labor, those things do not necessarily decrease or hold steady. And so it’s a natural progression. Obviously, if you’re getting less money, you have to take a look at your expenses. So if we got more money from the state, obviously that would help us close that gap.”

McCann says Westside’s budget committee has met for the past month. They’re looking at revenue opportunities and the effectiveness of programs offered by the District.

No decisions will be made until May at the earliest.