During a regular meeting on Sept. 18, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education unanimously approved a budget for the 2019 fiscal year, which contained a significant surplus. The fiscal year stretches from July 1 to June 30.
The district budgeted $88.5 million for operating revenues, but projected expenditures came in at around $83.4 million, with a resulting surplus of around $5 million. District officials, however, said that this surplus could dwindle by at least $3.1 million if a significant number of teacher vacancies are filled.
Some of the major aspects of the new budget include $288,000 for Extended Learning Opportunities for Students, a period that runs from 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and that requires additional bus runs to transport students to the high school before the start of first period.
Another major aspect of the new budget is a $2.1 million one-to-one technology initiative, which entails providing all students in the district with laptops at no cost to families.
The new budget includes an increase from 281 to 289 full time teachers, interventionists, instructional coaches and paraprofessionals. The district also repurposed two special payroll positions and created new data analyst, grant specialist and building-level social studies department chair positions. The district eliminated the district-wide social studies chairperson position some time ago.
Seventy-five percent of the new budget, or $64 million, comes from local revenues; 20 percent, or $19.2 million, come from state revenues; and $5.2 million, or 6 percent, come from federal revenues.
During the meeting, D209 Supt. Jesse Rodriguez said that, due to the state’s new evidence-based school funding formula — which is designed to send more funding and support to under-resourced school districts — D209 got around $400,000 more from the state than in previous years.
Rodriguez said that the district is “putting more resources into the classroom” and has “been more effective and efficient year after year in making sure we use our dollars more effectively.” He said that the budget doesn’t including any cuts to programming or instruction.