Few would come up with a solution to a possible (probable?) large cut in State Aid to Education for next year by spending an extra million this year.
Spending a million, so they don’t have to spend it next year.
That way next year’s budget won’t show a deficit. That seems to be the intent.
Now is the time school boards are guessing how much State Aid they will receive.
By shifting a million dollars of expenditures from next year to this year, it plugs a budget deficit of a million dollars for next year.
Unless an extra million of revenue miraculously appears the year that begins July 1st, the budget the year after that will be a million dollars short.
This is a one-year “fix” that Rod Blagojevich would be proud of. This one-year fix stuff is how the state got into the mess that now exists.
Eventually, the piper has to be paid. There must be a real cut in expenses.
This is what Huntley School District 158’s Supt. John Burkey recommended at last night’s Huntley School District Board meeting and the board majority approved the proposal.
It’s unclear how the extra money will be spent.
Because it is money being built into the budgetary “base,” it will be a recurring expense, costing a million dollars next year, the year after that, the year after that, etc.
Plugging a recurring million dollar hole for one year, doesn’t make the recurring money gap go away.
Pushing back any decision of where to come up with the apparently needed (or at least desired) million dollars would suit the purposes of those up for election next year. Newly installed Board President Kevin Gentry’s term expires next spring.
How did the Huntley School District come up with the million dollars?
Last year Burkey and the board did an accounting trick which will make taxpayers repay more bond money in the future.
They stretched out bond payments.
That technique doesn’t produce real savings from reduced spending.
Another approach would have been to ask the teachers union to agree to reopen its contract and bargain for a somewhat lower salary increase for this year.
But, not leading by example was Controller Mark Altmayer. He didn’t offer to work for less than the $25,000 raise he recently got added to his base salary from $105,000. He now makes $130,000.
Just as it’s “good to be the king,” as Mel Brooks put it, it’s good to be a school administrator.
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Picture is an outtake from Pete Gonigam, who publishes The First Electric Newspaper.