Freeport students, staff immune from budget deficit impacts for - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Freeport students, staff immune from budget deficit impacts for now

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D#145 Asst. Superintendent for Business & Finance Patrick McDermott D#145 Asst. Superintendent for Business & Finance Patrick McDermott
FREEPORT (WREX) -

Freeport School District's 2013-2014 spending plan leaves it nearly $2 million in the red. State funding came up short for the third year in a row. Staff, students and taxpayers shouldn't see any impact at least for now.

"Not the ideal situation, but it's the cards we've been dealt; we'll deal with it and see if we can get different cards moving forward." -says FSD #145 Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance Patrick McDermott.

This year, Illinois is only paying District #145 89% of what it owes in General State Aid, creating a $1.7 million shortfall. Administrators planned for roughly $725,000 of that.

"There are some restricted funds, for instance, Life Safety; we sold bonds several years ago and the way the accounting works is unless there's a revenue to match the expense it's considered deficit spending, but we have the money in the bank to do some more projects this year, so we'll be spending prior received bond money this year." -McDermott explains.

Dipping into reserves covers the $975,000 unplanned part of the deficit.

"Like I told the board the other night when they did approve it, planning for next year's budget started the next day. You can't keep tapping into reserves; at some point there is no reserve left, so we have to look at what we're going to do moving forward. Everything is on the table; possible staffing pattern changes to include possible cuts, looking at the different programming, evaluating what works the best and maybe eliminating or cutting back on what's not working at 100%." -McDermott adds.

Administrators say after paying for the unplanned part of the deficit, the district will have about $4.7 million left in reserves.

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