Forest Park’s District 91 schools unveiled a reworked $18.1 million tentative budget for fiscal year 2012 at the school board’s monthly meeting last week, and despite a reduction in collected taxes, the district remains fiscally healthy.

Ed Brophy, assistant superintendent and financial director, presented the retooled budget and informed board members that he had reworked the budgeted expenditures and revenues to reflect a smaller deficit for FY ’12. (This is only an operating deficit, though; D91 has nearly $23 million in reserves.)

“The collection rate has seen a steady decline,” he told the board.

The board gets the majority of its money from local taxes but still depends on money from the state and county, both of which have been behind in payments in recent years subsequent to their own financial strains.

Based on the tentative figures, the lion’s share of the money will go toward the education fund, where $13.2 million has been budgeted. The district’s operations and maintenance line item comes in a distant second, with $2.4 million budgeted. 

D91 is on track to spend more than it did in FY ’11 – its expenditures at the end of the last fiscal year were $15.4 million, according to the tentative budget report – but the district has more than enough money in reserves. In fact, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently awarded D91 with a certificate for its financial health.

Superintendent Lou Cavallo also noted that, if the district stopped receiving money altogether, it could operate with its reserves for 18 months before it would have to start cutting programs.

The board will vote to approve the FY ’12 budget at its monthly meeting in September.