The District 65 School Board adopted a final budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, at its Sept. 22 meeting. Operating revenues are projected at $91.4 million, up 1.8 percent over the prior year. Operating expenses are projected at $91.2 million, up 2.8 percent over the prior year. The budget shows an operating surplus of $214,647 for the year.

A number of adjustments were made after the Board approved a tentative budget on Aug. 18 to reflect additional revenues from property taxes, interest income and state grants and a number of increased expenses. The net amount of the adjustments increased the projected operating surplus for the year by $35,950.

The budget will likely need to be adjusted as the year progresses because a collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the teachers and other employee groups, and thus the amount the District will pay for salaries, which accounts for 68 percent of operating expenses, has not yet been settled. Kathy Zalewski, the District’s comptroller, said the budget assumes that teacher salaries will increase by 3.7 percent. The last publicly disclosed offer made by the School Board to the teachers union was to increase teacher salaries next year by an average of 5.7 percent. Ms. Zalewski said budget amendments may be necessary after collective bargaining agreements are reached with the teachers and other employee unions.

The District is also budgeting $25 million for capital projects, including technology, and to service the District’s debt obligations. The total budget for operations and capital projects is $116.3 million.

The District projects it will end the year with $20.8 million in its operating funds, or enough to cover about 83 days of operating expenses.

For more information concerning budget assumptions and expenditures by function, see the Aug. 20 issue of the RoundTable.