Huntley School District 158 Proposes Budget Showing Scheduled Legal Debt Obligation Not Being Paid Back

You might think a school district’s budget has to show specifically where the money is going to come from to pay for its legal debt obligations that are due in this budget year

You might think in normal budgeting, state law and State Board of Education might require this.

A quote in a July 15th Daily Herald summed up what’s going on in Huntley District 158.

“We’ve got a $1.9 million payment due this year, and the impact and transition fees aren’t going to be enough to cover that,” District 158 Comptroller Mark Altmayer said.

Top finance guy and CPA Altmayer and Supt. John Burkey came up with this innovation:

Don’t budget all of the required repayment.

This is the kind of financial finesse the General Assembly has done for years with required pension payments.

In case you haven’t noticed, that’s the main reason Democrats are pushing for a 50% and 67% income tax hike.

Maybe that’s where Huntley District 158 School District administrators got the idea.

It’s bad enough Burkey has a–to be polite–$449,405 discretionary fund budget line item. Page 37 of 62 of the expenditure budget has this line item (click to enlarge).

DO NOT USE–UNDEF BUDGET SAL $449,405 Placeholder for Admin and Non Union and Tier 2 Salaries

Page 37 of 62 can be found at

With school starting you’d think administrators have hired who they need?

When local government officials don’t have to budget legal debt repayments that are still on the books and can budget a sizable mystery fund for salaries after school has already started, no wonder there are trust issues with ordinary citizens.

Illinois has a State Board of Education bureaucracy, but when these kinds of practices are what goes on for budgeting, are residents being protected from abuses by government employees and officials?

Maybe we should take to heart what Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said at a recent town hall meeting;

“Whoever told you to trust the government?

“You live in a democracy. I never asked anyone to trust the government. It’s not your mother, your father or your doctor.”

Apparently we can’t trust people in local government positions to budget the repayment of legal debt obligations. When a leading liberal in the U.S. Congress admonishes us about trusting government, you could say the truth is out of the closet.

And liberals wonder why a majority of Americans don’t want government to take over health care.

The District 158 Financial Advisory Committee meets Tuesday (tonight) at 7:30.

Maybe a majority of them will have enough financial and accounting common sense to insist the legal debt repayment be put in the budget until such time as the board has officially taken action to not have to make the payment.

In other words, “normal” budgeting.


Huntley School District 158 Proposes Budget Showing Scheduled Legal Debt Obligation Not Being Paid Back — 3 Comments

  1. Isn't budgeting about using all of the information available and coming up with the best numbers?

    If they had put in the full debt payment despite the intention to refinance, someone would have accused them of trying to overstate how bleak the District's financial outlook is.

  2. Where is the analysis of the budgets for D300, D155, D47, and all the other school districts in the area?

  3. I have to agree – you publish your continually negative opinions on District 158 continually on your blog, a school district that you don't even live in or have any connection to – but you rarely, if ever, discuss your own school districts.

    Hmm, one might think there's some sort of vendetta. Just sayin'.

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