Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 will finish the fiscal year with an operating budget deficit of approximately $162,000, but outgoing finance director Sherry Reynolds-Whitaker projected a slight surplus of $37,435 next year. 

Reynolds-Whitaker, who is leaving the district on June 30, delivered her final report to the school board at their June 11 committee of a whole meeting.

“We got some things that we didn’t plan on late this year,” Reynolds-Whitaker told the board about this year’s budget deficit.

One of those things was patching up part of the roof at Costello School in Lyons. Unexpected spending also came from a late bill from the LaGrange Area Special Education Cooperative (LADSE) and installation of a new alarm system at George Washington Middle School.

Next year’s budget will include eight new positions, including an additional first-grade teacher at Lincoln School in Brookfield, which was made necessary by rising enrollment. Lincoln School will also get a reading interventionist teacher to help students struggling with reading. The district will also be adding three positions at GWMS: an additional bilingual teacher, a new THINK teacher, and a library aide.

THINK stands for (The Highly Innovative Kid), said Superintendent Kristopher Rivera, and is a “program [that] enriches high-ability children in a once-weekly pullout program, while classroom teachers differentiate instruction to meet student needs daily.”

The district is projecting a roughly 5-percent increase in property tax revenue, a number that will likely be whittled down by the Cook County Clerk’s Office to conform to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, which limits tax to the increase in the consumer price or 5 percent (whichever is lower), plus the value of new property that is added to the tax roll. The school districts 2018 tax levy request was limited by a consumer price index of 2.1 percent.

The district also plans on spending about $1.2 million next year or roof work throughout the district including a new roof for the administration building. The district has budgeted $250,000 for various building improvements throughout the district and will also spend $162,000 for new social studies textbooks to replace the badly outdated textbooks the district has used since 1997.

The district’s cost for busing students is projected to increase by 4 percent and the cost for food service is increasing by 2.1 percent. The district’s retiree costs are increasing by $40,000, but the cost for the district’s Health Savings Account is decreasing by about $45,000, or 11 percent.

Reynolds-Whitaker projected revenues of roughly $38.5 million next year and expenses of roughly $38.49 million

Just over 70 percent of the district’s revenue come from local property taxes, with 27.66 percent of revenue coming from the state of Illinois and 2.2 percent coming from the federal government.

Just over 75 percent of expenditures in the district comes from the district’s educational fund which pays for teachers’ salaries and benefits and other educational expenses.