The Springfield school board took a close look at its budget Monday night, and discovered that it’s either $3 million in the black, or $3 million in the red.
The report, presented by business services director Joe Bascio, projected a surplus of more than $879,000, to add to the district’s $2.1 million reserve. But that projection was based on the state paying everything it has promised, so far, the district has received only one of the three General State Aid payments it’s due. Superintendent Jennifer Gill isn’t counting on the $6 million promised in special education and transportation funds.
“What we’re hearing from state officials is that we’re worried that those state categoricals won’t come in for the rest of the year,” Gill says.
Board members hope to know more after Gov. Bruce Rauner makes his state-of-the-state and budget addresses later this month.
But at last night’s board meeting, one thing was clear: The 40-acres of farm land the district bought in hopes of building a west side high school will not be put up for sale, despite the annual efforts of board member Scott McFarland.
“I know February turns into McFarland-gets-on-his-soapbox-about-farmland, and i’m sorry about that,” he told the board. “This is the last time you’re gonna hear me say it here, but I’m really imploring somebody to motion and I’ll second."
No one did.