Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013, 10:45 pm
Moline schools' spending could lead to $3.8M deficit
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By Nicole Lauer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Moline schools can expect a $3.8 million deficit in its education fund alone next year if it stays the course in spending.
Dave McDermott, the district's chief financial officer, told board members on Monday his estimates project a 2 percent drop in local revenue and serious questions about state and federal funding.
It does not include the district's recent decisions to leave the Black Hawk Area Special Education District and to adopt a modified high school schedule that will eliminate some staff and reduce the number of elective courses.
The district expects to enter the next school year with $15.6 million in reserves. District spending this school year is at $73 million.
Budget recommendations from superintendent David Moyer are expected in March or April. Public input on the budget will be accepted at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Moline Public Library.
Mr. McDermott praised school board members for making difficult but prudent financial decisions, saying the district now must re-evaluate its curriculum, technology and facilities needs.
Board members on Monday did not hold an expected vote on a development agreement with Black Hawk College to provide a 10-year property tax rebate to a student housing project developer. City officials did not approve the requested rebate, killing the issue.
Mr. Moyer said the project, supported by school district and Rock Island County officials, would have taken publicly-owned land generating no tax revenue and placed it on the tax rolls. When the tax abatement ended, the school district could have collected new tax dollars.
He called the developer's decision to move the project to East Moline a missed opportunity for Moline and the school district.
"This is disappointing, because it would have helped to offset some of the loss from the recent Elliott Aviation legislation exempting them from having to pay taxes," Mr. Moyer said.
The board also:
-- Voted 4 to 1 to start the iJAG pilot program at the Moline High School Coolidge Campus. Board member Bob Tallitsch cast the lone no vote, citing financial concerns about the job-focused program for at-risk students. Board members Alan Anderson and Dawn Ratzburg were absent.
-- Learned a program for kindergarten through second-grade students at Butterworth Elementary helped 21 English Language Learners students. District ELL coordinator Stephanee Jordan said the class, taught by a certified English as a Second Language teacher and a literacy coach, is a better alternative than pulling students out of traditional classrooms.