A Balanced Budget

Colchester, IL – The West Prairie School District will operate this year with a balanced budget.

Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth says the board approved a budget in the black by $500,000. "We started planning for this budget last January when it became apparent that we were going to have a decline in enrollment and in general state aid," says Heerboth.

But doing so was not so easy. Heerboth says the district eliminated some staff and did not replace some retirees. "We are in the position that we think if things go well this year we will have the balanced budget," Heerboth says. "We are projecting right now about a $300,000 surplus in the education fund, about $50,000 in the operations and maintenance fund and $50,000 in transportation."

"We really have lost faith in the state's ability to make payments on time," Heerboth says. "Overall it's a pretty conservative budget. We are not planning any huge projects in terms of spending money."

Heerboth says the district will still try to "put money into the classrooms" for the students. "Through good times and hard times, kids only get the one shot at an education," says Heerboth. "We want to make sure that we take the funds that we do have or the funds that we project that we are going to receive this year and put them into the classroom for the kinds."

The district's operating budget is $7.2 million.