The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently notified School District 65 that its financial data for the 2008-09 school year places the District in the highest School District Financial Profile category. According to ISBE’s website, 626 out of 870 school districts in the State, or 72 percent, are in the highest category.

“The District is honored to gain state recognition for our prudent management of District resources,” said Superintendent Hardy Murphy. “This recognition comes as the result of hard work and solid financial decisions.”

Going forward, the District will be impacted by a low consumer price index rate of 0.1 percent for 2008, which limits property tax increases collected in calendar year 2010 and also impacts subsequent years. Taking the low CPI rate into account, District 65 issued projections that it will have a slight surplus next year and then incur a cumulative total of $18 million in deficits over the next four years, unless new revenues are found or cuts are made.

On another note, at the Board’s finance committee meeting on May 11, Kathy Zalewski, Comptroller for the District, estimated the District will receive about $2 million in federal stimulus funds: an additional $528,000 in Title I funds, and about $1.5 million in funds under the Individual with Disabilities and Education Act. The District may use these one-time funds for professional development, assistive technology equipment for students with a disability, summer school or extended day programs, and development or expansion of programs to serve preschoolers with disabilities.