WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Trying to Balance the Budget

Rushville, IL – The Schuyler-Industry School District's new budget is not balanced.

The budget was approved by the school board at this month's meeting. Superintendent Matt Plater says if the projected expenditures are on target, the district will be nearly $148,000 in the red. "I would say the budget is a best guess," Plater says. "The big question mark is will the state be able to pay all the money that's owed in the proper year."

But Plater says luckily, the district has more than $4-million in reserves it can dip in to. "It's really to me no different than managing your own individual checking account," says Plater. "If you're starting with nothing and you are counting on that check and living check to check then that's very important. But if you have $5,000 in your checking account and things run a little short you can spill over into your $5,000. You don't want to make that a habit."

"Our fund balances at the end of the last fiscal year were more than $4 million," Plater says. "That's a pretty good place to start and a good position to be in right now."

Plater says the district typically invests those reserve funds to make interest off the money. "It costs the district money," says Plater. "If we were confident, we would invest nearly all of that $4-million into a very safe and secure interest bearing account and earn money."

Plater does not expect the state to pay all of its bills this year, but says he will remain optimistic for now. The district's operating budget for this fiscal year is $12.7 million dollars.