Citizens of Granite City - District Financial Info Letter
October 28, 2015
Dear Citizens of Granite City,
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and interest in our students. It is hard to believe that we are approaching the end of the 1st quarter.
As we continue into the 2015-2016 school year it is important, as a District, to keep everyone informed of the fiscal state of the Granite City School District. The past years have been tough on parents and the community with talks of tax referendums and cost reduction plans; however, it has been more difficult for our students who have been in fear of losing programs, teachers, and supports that they rely on for their daily routine, and create the learning environment they attend every day.
The 2014-2015 school year had a projected deficit of $2.1 million after making cuts of $1.4 million and raising fees. We are happy to report that we ended the year with a surplus of $537,000 based on our 2014-2015 audit. While this seems to be great news, it is important to remember there were some “one-time payments” included that are not annual revenues the District will receive again. Factoring in the “one-time non-recurring payments”, and late payments received from the State in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, we would have had a deficit of $500,000. While this is less than the estimated $2.1 million deficit, many departments made cuts to supplies and materials and deferred necessary projects in order to keep the deficit as low as possible.
At the September 22, 2015 Board Meeting, the District passed its 2015-2016 budget. The budget was presented to the Board of Education as a balanced budget by $150,000. The District received increased revenues in the form of General State Aid being prorated at 92%, and not 89% as it was the year before. We received an additional $318,000 from the state Loss Limit Grant, and both Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax and Local Property Tax revenues increased. Also, the District had cost reductions of $1 million and had minimal increases in expenditures that helped create the balanced budget. The District also secured $5 million of cash reserves by selling bonds, in order to handle any unexpected change from the State of Illinois as they are still operating without a state budget.
As the District looks toward the future, it is important to work hard to maintain a balanced budget and meet the needs of the students. There are pressing supply needs throughout the District for updated and additional textbooks. Recent changes in testing mandates, demand additional technology. Deferred maintenance and additional supply needs are growing as department budgets have been cut. There is no doubt that a passed tax referendum would have been able to help address the needs listed above. While there may be a need sometime in the future to bring the issue back to the voters, at this time the District will continue to address the most pressing issues as the budget allows. As the uncertainty of the state continues and we experience a slight decline in student enrollment, it is important to make sure that all possibilities be explored. We aim to keep the District on a sound financial path while maintaining and supporting the excellent programs it currently has.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly by dialing 451-5800.
James J. Greenwald, Ed.S. Superintendent of Schools