The budget for the current fiscal year at Riverside Brookfield High School forecasts a $270,000 surplus. 

The RBHS Board of Education unanimously approved the budget for the fiscal year at ends June 30, 2024 at last Tuesday’s meeting. 

The budget forecasts revenues of more than $31.9 million and operating expenses of more than $31.6 million. Last year’s budget ended up with a surplus of $634,129 a little higher than $625,000 that was originally forecast. In past years, budgets at RBHS usually ended up better than originally predicted.

Superintendent Kevin Skinkis said that it’s always good to have a balanced budget.

“We’re continuing to fund new academic initiatives,” Skinkis said. “It’s a good time.”

Expenses for salaries are projected to increase by 7.36 % to cover two additional full time teaching positions and pay increases. The school added the equivalent of two full time teaching positions this year. This year RBHS has 109.4 full time equivalent certified staff, up slightly from last year. 

Health and dental insurance costs are expected to increase by 6.16 % because the district’s premium costs are increasing. 

Stipends for coaches and activity sponsors also are expected to increase by 13.7 % to account for pay increases in the collective bargaining agreement with the teachers union and more positions with stipends to handle greater student participation.

Special Education services purchased through the LADSE special education cooperative are projected to increase by 17.53 % due staffing rate changes.

Transportation costs are projected to more than triple to $95,000 because the school will have to use coach buses for transportation to athletic or activity events and field trips because of the shortage of school bus drivers. RBHS does not provide bus transportation to school.

RBHS will spend $200,000 for landscaping work to create an outdoor lunch area along Ridgewood Road in the front of the building. That work is expected to begin next month.

Revenues from property taxes are projected to increase by 7.69 % to nearly $22.3 million. State aid through the state’s evidence based funding formula is expected to increase by $455,014, or 17.81 % this year to just more than $3 million. RBHS is in the Tier 1 category of schools in the state that receive the most generous funding from the state.

“We have always fluctuated between Tier 1 and Tier 2,” Skinkis said noting that RBHS has been in the Tier 1 category for the last two years.

Interest income on cash reserves are expected to increase by approximately $115,000 due to higher interest rates.

Revenue from the corporate personal property replacement tax, which had surged over the last couple of years, is projected to decline by about $364,000 as it returns to more normal levels.

Cash reserves are projected to be 59 % of the annual operating expenditures, which is considered a very healthy level.

In other action, the school board approved the hiring of former Hinsdale Central athletic director Dan Jones to serve this year as a part time co-interim assistant principal for athletics. Jones will share the position with Tom Domin, who was hired this summer. Both Domin and Jones are being paid $600 a day.

“We are extremely excited to have Dan and his experience and expertise in high school athletics on staff and we look forward to his assistance this school year and also in helping us find a new assistant principal of athletics,” Skinkis said.  

Jones and Domin are replacing Brendan Curtin this year after Curtin stepped down from the assistant principal of athletics position in June. Curtin has stayed on at RBHS as a physical education teacher. Skinkis said that Jones and Domin will help conduct the search for a permanent successor to Curtin. That search is expected to begin in earnest later this fall or in early winter.

Jones started working at RBHS after he passed a background check but before he was officially hired. He was on the sideline and working during the RBHS-Bloom football game on Sept. 8.

Jones has a long career in high school athletics and is highly respected in the high school athletic community.