The Finance Committee of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board will begin discussions Monday night of a draft of the operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year.
It happens every year at this time, by examining the actual results of the current fiscal year and using those actuals to plan for the year ahead, augmented by new enrollment projections.
In a memo to the committee, the district’s comptroller, Kathy Zalewski, estimates that the operating budget for the current budget year will end with a surplus of $122,394, or $529,394, before prepayments of expenses for next year, compared with a budgeted surplus of $399,425.
When the district actually ends the year with a surplus, the district uses that opportunity to prepay expenses, such as insurance, repairs, and maintenance, that are incurred for the following year in order to reduce the expenses required for the upcoming year.
As for next year, revenues are projected to increase by about 3 percent, while expenditures are expected to increase by about 2 percent.
Looking ahead, the administration is projecting surpluses in the budget for the next two fiscal years before deficits begin to kick in for the next three years, giving the board a bit of breathing room before taking actions needed to bring those budgets into balance.
It’s all very complicated, particularly when considering the fact that the operating budget is but one of five funds to be considered in the overall budget.
Non-operating funds include life safety, debt service, capital improvement, and technology projects, each of which has its own set of revenue and expense accounts.
As for enrollment, which is nearly complete for next year, the district is projecting 7,171 students, compared to actual enrollment to date of 7,093, but that number will continue to edge higher throughout the summer months.