Robert Lee, the young man seeking election to the Carpentersville District 300 school board has come up with the idea to evaluate implementation as well as initial costs for proposed expenditures. His press release follows:
Robert Lee previewed his proposal to require all new expenditures include a Financial Impact Statement (FIS) before presentation and approval by the Board.
An FIS will include the initial investment costs and the cycle costs for up to five years of an approved expenditure. The costs will include, for example, all facets of training, operations, maintenance, among other expenses.
“With an FIS, board members can make appropriate decisions about district finances. Without them, they’re often left unaware of the future financial impact a specific new expenditure may have. This is unacceptable with the district’s annual non-capital budget exceeding $200 million,” Lee said.
Lee highlighted three benefits of an FIS. First, the planning power it gives to the school board in approving expenditures. Having that information, said Lee, “cannot be underappreciated. Board members have an obligation to make informed decisions on behalf of the District.”
Secondly, he pointed out that an FIS can highlight deficiencies in the budgeting process when it proves to be grossly inaccurate.
“If three years down the road, the Board finds it underestimated the cost of a program, there is a tool to find out why. If the Board overestimates, and closes off resources to other programs that would otherwise be available, that can improve, too.”
Third, Lee said, “This makes the budgeting process more transparent to the public. An FIS is a simple way to highlight the cost of educating our students, and the criteria behind board decisions.”
“When the board makes an expenditure it cannot afford in the future, it’s making a promise to families that will have to be broken. This will help the Board to make the promises of a good education it fully intends to keep.”