LANSING | The Lansing Elementary District 158 School Board reviewed a tentative budget for the 2013-14 school year that shows operating revenues of about $25.3 million and operating expenditures of approximately $26.2 million.
The budget was presented to the board by Business Manager Mark Crotty and former Business Manager Doug Handley.
Handley said the tentative budget is considered balanced.
Handley said the district had about a $4 million operating deficit last year.
Crotty said the 2013-14 tentative budget shows the district receiving about 80 percent of its revenues from general state aid and real estate taxes, while about 63 percent of total expenditures, with capital projects excluded, are the result of salaries and benefits.
Crotty suggested the board consider incentive programs to increase student attendance, since the amount of general state aid received is determined by average daily attendance.
He said that other than in 2011, average daily attendance has been in a somewhat steady decline in recent years.
Board member Anthony Arens said cuts will need to be made to future budgets and asked Superintendent Cecilia Heiberger to explore where those could be made.
"I take issue with that because to say we have to make cuts next year kind of says that we have too much fat on the bone this year," board Vice President Chuck Taylor said. "If there was something to cut we'd be cutting it right now."
The tentative budget must be advertised for 30 days, and the board is expected to adopt a final budget at its Sept. 18 meeting.
In other district news, the board unanimously approved the sale of $7,785,000 in general obligation limited tax school bonds to pay for improvements to district buildings.
The work includes the completion of a remodeling/renovation project at Reavis Elementary School, an upgrade of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Lester Crawl Primary Center and the creation of a more secure vestibule at Coolidge Elementary School.
Handley said $7,785,000 was the maximum amount that could be issued in working cash bonds but the board will likely approve the sale of additional bonds in January that would bring the total up to $10 million.