Latest Trier High School’s 2024 budget will not be only classified as balanced, but in response to the administration, officials are also taking a look at a possible surplus.
The ultimate ’24 budget was unanimously approved by the Latest Trier Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 18, with nearly $134 million in revenues, about $7 million above projected expenditures ($127 million).
In line with Myron Spiwak, District 203’s director of business services, the revenue budget is a rise of 6.5 percent over the 2023 budget and expenditures increased by 5.6 percent (2023: $120 million).
“From a budgeting perspective, it’s very exciting when your revenue budget goes up at the next rate than your expenditure budget,” he said.
Latest Trier’s budget process reportedly began back in January, and Spiwak said the goal is “maximizing the financial support that we are able to direct towards education and programs for college kids.” He highlighted what the budget funds, which incorporates curriculum, extracurricular activities including sports and performing arts, and student services, which include the district’s newly-implemented “graduating class teams.”
Included inside that budget is an anticipated $3.8 million operating funds surplus.
Spiwak said having a surplus is vital to the district because, as he explained, the recently accomplished east side athletic and academic project on the Winnetka campus “was funded primarily through bond issuance with the understanding that the bond payments can be made out of operating funds slightly than through referendum.”
Much of Latest Trier’s revenue — 96 percent, in response to the budget summary — comes from property taxes (90%), investment earnings, and state and native sources.
In line with the budget summary, written by Associate Superintendent Chris Johnson, the district estimates $120 million (a rise from nearly $113 million last 12 months) can be collected from local property taxes and other local revenue will increase to $7.7 million. From the state, it’s anticipated the district will receive $3.4 million, which reportedly is a slight increase from 2023, and federal revenue is predicted to diminish nearly 13 percent from 2023, for a complete of about $2.3 million.
A lot of the budget expenditures consist of salaries for faculty and staff, totaling $82.5 million, or 65 percent of the budget, across 676.88 full-time employees, including 382 teachers and 18 administrators. The district is up three administrators from a 12 months ago.
One other 14 percent, primarily medical health insurance, goes to worker advantages. Johnson wrote within the budget summary that insurance costs saw the best increase, 14 percent, in at the very least 18 years, which was attributed to “Latest Trier experience and inflationary trends.”
Board Vice President Jean Hahn thanked those involved in preparing the budget, saying that it “balances our obligation to speculate our community’s generous resources with our commitment to supply an exceptional educational experience for our students.”
Prior to the budget’s approval, Johnson highlighted quite a few awards the district has received for financial stewardship, which incorporates the Certificate for Excellence Award in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International. In line with Johnson, the district has received this award for 18 consecutive years.
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