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Local News

Lincoln-Way D-210 officials project future surplus increases

Business manager presents five-year financial forecast

NEW LENOX – Lincoln-Way District 210 officials are projecting a $1.7 million surplus this year that might increase to about $5 million in 2022.

Brad Cauffman, assistant superintendent of business, delivered a financial forecast of the next five years to the board at Thursday’s meeting. The projections, calculated with Forecast 5 Analytics software, showed increasing surpluses and year-end balances based on several factors. 

Cauffman said the forecast is a living document that will be updated throughout the year as well as serve as a building block for the next fiscal year budget.  

“This will be our road map for the future,” he said. 

The projections were developed by using annual financial reports, the fiscal 2017 budget, historical tax extension reports, equalized assessed values, salary and benefit information, enrollment and the district’s funds. 

According to an aggregate summary of the projects, district officials expect a surplus of about $1.7 million this fiscal year, $631,847 in fiscal 2018, $1.8 million in fiscal 2019, $5.3 million in fiscal 2020, $4.2 million in fiscal 2021 and about $5 million in fiscal 2022. 

The forecast projects the consumer price index – the measure of average price of consumer goods and services – increasing to 2.40 percent in 2018, decreasing and holding flat in future years, along with property values increasing from an estimated $68 million this year to $74 million in 2019 and holding flat in future years. 

Student enrollment is expected to sink from 7,037 students this year to 6,616 in 2022. Staffing for schools in the district was held flat in the projection model to ensure there still are adequate staffing levels, Cauffman said. 

Board President Joe Kirkeeng asked why the model held staffing flat if enrollment was projected to decline. Cauffman said that “housing is coming back” and that although enrollment faced some losses, class sizes might change. 

General state aid is estimated
to decline by about 25 percent, or
by about $1.3 million in 2018, Cauffman said. 

He said of a slide that made projections based on all funds except debt service showed the district’s operating fund balances beginning to be restored, resulting in less reliance on tax anticipation warrants and the district beginning to have a “stronger financial position.” 

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