District 150 deficit spending to keep newer programs

Aug 26, 2013

Peoria School District 150 has a projected deficit of nearly $6 million.  Peoria Public Radio's Alex Rusciano reports that's compared to a deficit last academic year of nearly $3 million: 

 District Treasurer Dave Kinney says most of last year’s deficit will be filled by unexpected payments on corporate replacement taxes.  He says projected expenses this year are at roughly the same level as last year. But Kinney says continued cuts in state aid and maintaining new programs are pushing the district's spending plan in the red. Kinney says the district will draw from its $50 million dollars in reserves to fill the gap in the short term and keep new programs intact:

 “We don’t want to tackle the good programs, the IB programs, the kinds of staff development we’re doing.  We’ve hired more people, social workers and counselors and so forth to help our children and so we’re trying to keep most of our expenses as close to the children as we can.  We’ve made improvements, we’re seeing results and I think this is not the time to do that,” Kinney says.  

 Kinney says the district will continue to look at eliminating overtime, improvements in property taxes and possibly selling property to tackle the deficit long term. In other business, Dunlap Schools will pay the district a $60,000 settlement over a multi-year property tax dispute.