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Unit 5 school board approves $137.5 million annual budget

Unit 5's board meets in Normal West's cafeteria on June 12, 2024
Colin Hardman
The Unit 5 school board meets on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in the Normal West High School cafeteria.

The Unit 5 school board on Wednesday approved an amended version of the 2023-2024 budget, updating the district’s spending figures and reflecting changes made in the since the last review in January.

When presented last month, Unit 5 Director of Financial Services Thomas Hoerr said there’s been little change since the last budgetary update. The district’s total spending now comes to about $137.5 million, up slightly from the prior $135 million. The district’s total revenue increased by a similar amount, keeping the distance between money coming in and money going out nearly flat.

The extra revenue is largely sourced from an expected bump in property values, bringing the district more tax money. The district also has unfilled positions, so it is paying out less in salaries than previously projected. As a consequence, the district will draw less from working cash funds than previously thought — from $14.2 million to $9.3 million.

Multiple areas are seeing increased funding compared with the initial budget.

Transportation expenditures rose slightly due to expanded routes, and building maintenance also received more money. About $163,000 more than projected is allocated to student resource officers and “other risk management," and about $100,000 more than expected will be used for debt repayment.

“It’s not too much different from the mid-year update,” Hoerr told the board during his presentation, referring to the January review.

Colin Hardman is a correspondent at WGLT. He joined the station in 2022.