Board Briefs: Fall 2019 Financial Workshop

The District 58 Board of Education held a Financial Workshop on Monday, Nov. 18 at El Sierra School. View the agenda and presentation links. Listen to the meeting’s audio. 

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Chief School Business Official Todd Drafall gave a presentation on the District’s financial forecasts. Presentation highlights include:

2019-20 budget recap:

The 2019-20 budget projects $73.66 million in revenues and $73.65 million in expenditures. Most (84%) District 58 revenues come from local funding. It receives local funding through two property tax payments in August and May. This means that the District receives nearly half of its revenues each May, requiring the District to budget carefully to cover all expenses through its education fund and working cash fund from July through May.

District 58 receives 11% of its revenues from state funds. These funds are awarded based on student needs, and a portion are reimbursements for the previous year’s special education and transportation expenditures, as well as a grant to support preschool.

District 58 receives 5% of its revenues from federal sources based on student special needs and District poverty. 

Fund balance review for 2020-21:

Although District 58’s 2019-20 budget is balanced, the District does not have an adequately-funded fund balance. This means that if the District incurred an unexpected large expense, it might not have sufficient cash to cover the bill.

The Board of Education’s Financial Advisory Committee recently recommended that District 58 create a fund balance policy that would ensure the District had adequate cash on hand to cover any unexpected expenses. Through this proposed policy, the District would aim to eventually allocate 30% of its annual budgeted expenditures toward a fund balance. It is currently about $1 million shy of this goal. To reach it, the District would budget an additional $200,000 per year for five years toward its fund balance until it reached its goal.

Comparisons to other local school districts:

District 58 has the lowest tax rate when compared to DuPage County’s large elementary school districts, as defined by the Illinois State Board of Education. Only a few small DuPage County school districts — such as Gower District 62 in Willowbrook and Burr Ridge — have lower tax rates; however, these small districts are not very comparable to District 58 due to their significant difference in size.

District 58 has a strong tax base. The District’s assessed value, which is approximately one-third of the market value, is roughly $2.9 billion. One important asset is the strong commercial base, which produces 16% or $11.9 million of the District’s annual revenue.

District 58 has a low tax rate due to a combination of its strong property base and a historically-low operational rate. The presentation shows the differences in local resources per student between District 58 and neighboring school districts. For example, if District 58 had the same local resources on a per-student basis as Hinsdale District 181, District 58 would have an additional $13.5 million annually to spend on programs and operational needs. 

View the entire presentation here.

Upcoming events:

Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Greg Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Emily Hanus, Steve Olczyk, Jill Samonte and Tracy Weiner with Dr. Kevin Russell, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.