Evanston’s School District 65 plans to spend 6.2 percent more next year. The budget figures are scheduled to be reviewed at a Finance Committee meeting tonight.

The draft tentative budget for the 2018-19 school year projects revenue of $140.1 million, 3 percent less than this year, while spending will rise to $135.6 million.

The administration says the revenue decrease comes because the first two years of revenue from the voter-approved tax referendum weren’t received until this year.

The spending increase the result of contractual salary increases, new positions added to the budget, the high cost of special education tuition and capital expenditures carried forward from this year.

The district’s spending this year came in about $2.8 million under budget, mostly because the district deferred payment on some capital spending. 

The district expects to have an operating surplus of $4.9 million next year which will be added to reserves that now total $44.4 million.

The district is trying to build up its reserves now in the expectation that it will face a “structural deficit,” starting in the 2020-21 school year.  

The  finance committee is also expected to review the district’s $2 million technology purchases, which includes 1,335 iPads for the middle school 1:1 initiative, replacement of failing Acer Chromebooks, replacement of classroom projectors and networking and wireless upgrades.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave.

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  1. D65 Budget
    Couple of important issues regarding D65 Budget.

    1. The reported numbers do not report the full cost of teacher pensions since the employer portion is currently paid for by the State of Illinois.
    (Total Compensation for employees is Salary + Benefits + Pension, but since the State pays for teacher pensions, many times School Board members and Administrators don’t fully understand the actual cost of employees. But taxpayers pay and are liable for the total cost since we pay taxes to D65 and to the State)

    2. The structural deficit still exists in D65 – for now it’s hidden, and until and unless the school board and administration address this issue, taxpayers can expect another referendum in 5 or 6 years. The reason for the structural deficit is that expenses are growing at a faster rate than expenses. All the referendum did was delay the day of reckoning. Evanston/Skokie taxpayers gave the board and administration the money and time to address the issue, and we’ll have to wait and see what our leadership decides to do

    1. correction
      Corrected version : “The reason for the structural deficit is that expenses are growing at a faster rate than revenues.”

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