Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012, 10:12 pm

East Moline schools will use reserves to cover education fund deficit

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By Sarah Hayden, shayden@qconline.com

East Moline school board members approved a 2012-13 budget Wednesday night with a deficit of $650,000 in the education fund.

The deficit is caused by an $800,000 cut in general state aid from Illinois and a $300,000 cut in corporate personal property taxes. The district will use $1.7 million carryover from the education fund the previous year to bridge the deficit.

Board member Lisa Betsworth asked if it was possible to trim the budget to address the deficit.

"When you're looking at a $33 million budget, the most impact you can have is to trim human resources," said superintendent Kristin Humphries. "We need all the people we can get for the services our students need."

Mr. Humphries said he believes the deficit will leave about $1 million available in the education fund as carryover for next year. He noted Illinois has pro-rated general state aid funding at 89 percent.

Saying it's still a good budget, Mr. Humphries said the district has budgeted for cameras on busses and bus-routing software within the transportation fund.

"I think we can do a lot better with our bussing," he said. "We need to make sure our kids and drivers have the best environment possible."

Also during the meeting, a three-year strategic plan was presented by Hillcrest Principal Ron Harris and District Transportation Director Evelyn Gay. Outlining goals and outcomes, the plan is the result of seven months of work by district employees who identified and prioritized critical issues facing the school system.

"There was a tremendous effort to reach out to groups and subgroups for input, including retirees and former students," said board member Ken Roberts.

Mr. Humphries said the strategic plan will be posted online.

The board also:

-- Approved spending $24,995 for a new truck from Reynolds Ford to help the Silvis school district plow snow. Mr. Humphries said the East Moline and Silvis school districts have a reciprocal agreement to share resources. East Moline provides information technology and maintenance services to Silvis for a quarterly fee. Silvis recently paid $20,000 to East Moline, said Mr. Humphries, and that money will go toward the new truck purchase. The plow blade will cost an additional $5,000, said Jim Franks, director of maintenance and operations for East Moline schools.

-- Announced the salaries of the superintendent, all teachers and all administrators will be posted online to comply with Illinois Code P.A. 97-256. This marks the first time teacher salaries and benefits will be posted Monday on the district's website, emsd37.org, and reported to the Illinois State Board of Education.

The numbers:

Fiscal year 2011-2012 2012-2013

Expenditures

Education Fund: $21,191,600 $21,276,805

Operations/Maintenance Fund: $1,773,300 $1,896.219

Transportation Fund: $1,084,020 $1,185,284

Other: $3,725,670 $3,234,625

Revenues:

Federal: $3,275,918 $2,598,792

State: $9,669,600 $8,686,336

Local sources: $12,359,216 $12,390,693