Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

August 13, 2013

Budget deficit less than anticipated

Bill Grimes Daily News
Effingham Daily News

---- — TEUTOPOLIS — Teutopolis Unit 50 Superintendent Bill Fritcher spent several minutes Monday sharing details of the tentative budget for the upcoming school year.

“There are probably some things that are going to change before the September meeting,” Fritcher said.

The board unanimously passed a tentative budget Monday that shows a total deficit of $82,287, a far cry from the deficit of nearly $1 million projected before the board passed a series of budget cuts. While seven of the eight individual funds show surpluses, the one that doesn’t is the Education Fund — the largest single fund in any school district. That fund shows a deficit of $333,384, and Fritcher said that figure may be a bit low.

“My concern is that we will have to amend up,” he said, noting that no provisions for salary increases have been made.

“It’s really difficult to predict some of these agreements,” Fritcher said. “It makes things pretty complicated.”

Board President Marty Siemer admitted the budget process was far from over.

“I’m sure we will have some additional questions before we pass a final budget,” Siemer said.

Fritcher said the district would actually have a surplus if general state aid wasn’t being prorated at 88.7 percent. That proration, he said, will cost the district nearly $400,000.

In addition, the district is losing another $332,927 in general state aid because of a continued slide in enrollment. Building principals at Monday’s meeting estimated a total district enrollment of 1,066, down from last year’s 1,078.

Unit 50 has lost nearly a third of its enrollment since 2000.

The public is invited to a budget hearing set for 7:15 p.m. Sept. 16, prior to the board’s next regular meeting.

In other action Monday, the board agreed to pay Fisher Tracks $68,325 to resurface the district track located near the junior high school. Fisher had originally built the track in 2000.

The board also agreed to retain Selective Insurance as its insurance carrier at a 4.62 percent increase over last year’s rate. Selective is represented locally by Mihlbacher Insurance.

In personnel moves, the board accepted the resignations of Theresa Thies, music director for the high school drama department; grade school lunchroom aide Kendall Heuerman and high school custodian Bob Weaver, who is retiring effective Friday.

The board agreed to hire Whitney Koebele as high school assistant volleyball coach; Natasha Rauch as a half-time first grade teacher; and Amanda Hazlett as the grade school lunchroom aide.

The board also approved Deanna Worman as a volunteer golf coach.