D168 officials pleased with large payment from Illinois government

2013-05-20T00:00:00Z 2013-05-20T23:46:07Z D168 officials pleased with large payment from Illinois governmentGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SAUK VILLAGE | It’s not uncommon for school district officials to be upset with Illinois state government, which often falls behind on the general state aid payments for their overall funding.

Because of that, Community Consolidated School District 168 were pleased Monday when it was learned the state recently made a state aid payment to help catch the state up to what it owes D.168.

Finance Chairman Mary Howard said Monday the district has a balance of $19,171,631.32 – higher than the roughly $17 million the balance had when the School Board met in late April.

School District Business Manager Sharlyne Williams said a large part of the reason for the boost in funds is that state government made an aid payment to the district of about $532,000 on April 24.

“That brought them up to date,” Williams said, while admitting she’s not sure of the specifics of how the state got caught up on its payments to District 168.

“I don’t know, and I don’t ask questions,” she said. “We’re just glad to have the money.”

Admittedly, the financial situation for District 168, or any other public school district, fluctuates on a daily basis.

District Superintendent Al Travaglini said as of Monday, the state owed the district $48,108.49.

But he said that is a far lower figure than the shortfall the state usually owes to the district.

“It’s always in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

While Williams said that when the economy reached its low point in recent years, the amount the state was behind came close to $900,000 at one point.

Travaglini also said while he’s pleased the school year is nearly complete without much state funding being owed to the school district, he admits he is concerned about the struggles state government is having in putting together a balanced budget – and wonders how much of a cut it will mean.

Already this year, the State Board of Education only provides 89 percent of the amount that officials admit District 168 ought to receive – based on its enrollment.

Travaglini said he and other superintendents around Illinois have been told that they should expect that figure to drop to somewhere between 81-83 percent for the 2013-14 school year.

“For us, that’s about a loss of $1 million,” for the upcoming school year, Travaglini said.

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