The Evanston District 65 administration updated the tentative 2018-19 budget with increases in revenue and expenses at a meeting of the school board finance committee Monday night.

Business Manager Kathy Zalewski reported a nearly $400,000 revenue increase due to receipt of more Medicaid funds and an increase in the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) compared to the tentative budget presented to the board in August.

Expenditures also increased by about $325,000, due to two additional special education teacher assistants as well as supplies and materials.

The surplus of about $69,600 will be added to the FY19 surplus.

The tentative 2018-19 budget anticipates revenues of $139.7 million and expenses of $136.1 million, with a surplus of $3.5 million. The FY19 budget is about seven percent higher than the FY18 budget and four percent higher than actual expenses for FY18.

The board will hold a public hearing and adopt the FY19 budget at its regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 24.

Following the finance committee meeting, the working board session reviewed a preliminary report on 2018-19 enrollment.

Paul Goren.

Superintendent Paul Goren cautioned that the enrollment process is ongoing and a final report that includes comparison with previous years will be published in November.

Projected enrollment is 7,548 students with all classes within class size guidelines.

The report indicates enrollment of nine kindergarten students in Oakton Elementary’s African-Centered Curriculum.

In public comment Alyce Barry, secretary of the Organization for Positive Action and Leadership (OPAL), asked what the district has done to recruit students to the ACC program.

“At early summer, only a couple of kindergartners were registered for ACC.” After sending out flyers and scheduling meet-and-greets with parents, “by opening of school we tripled the number,” Goren said.

“We’ve met with parents and debunked some myths about the ACC program,” said Stacy Beardsley, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “ACC is not where we want it to be.”

Suni Kartha, president of the school board, noted that enrollment at Bessie Rhodes has decreased from previous years and asked what transfers out of Rhodes were doing to enrollment in other schools.

Beardsley noted that the students were reasonably well-dispersed with a few more at Walker Elementary and Chute Middle Schools.

Last December the board voted to gradually transition the Bessie Rhodes magnet school to be entirely dedicated to Spanish-English bilingual instruction.

Related stories

D65 to hold community meetings to review budget (8/21/2018)

D65 board to consider how to cut future budgets (8/14/2018)

District 65 budget shows increase in enrollment, salaries (8/12/2018)

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