With conservative revenue estimates and cuts in several budget categories, administrators in District 91 don’t expect to put much money in the bank at year’s end. However, Forest Park’s public K-8 school system isn’t too worried about seeing red ink, either.

School board members unanimously approved a $17,174,028 budget during their Sept. 10 meeting. Offsetting those expenses is a projected revenue total of $17,204,618. Assistant Superintendent Ed Brophy said the strategy in this year’s budget is to begin spending some of the reserve funds that have been accumulated. The more than $4.5 million in its working cash fund represents about three months’ worth of total expenses. However, other budget categories, such as transportation, have larger reserves that should be drawn upon, said Brophy.

“Let’s get the balances down to an appropriate reserve level,” Brophy told the board.

By June 30, the end of the district’s current fiscal year, the transportation fund is projected to be large enough to cover 14 months’ worth of travel. The district’s tort fund should also be dipped into, Brophy said.

The approved budget represents an 18 percent increase in expenses over the $14.09 million spent last year.