State Approves District 113A Financial Plan
The district will move forward Friday with its issuance of $1.8 million in tax anticipation warrants to Lemont High School District 210.
The latest version of Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A's financial plan was unanimously approved Thursday by the Illinois State Board of Education.
The amended plan was required for District 113A to issue another $1.8 million in tax anticipation warrants to Lemont High School District 210 on Friday, District 113A officials said.
There was no discussion on the item prior to the vote. The board held a conference call with District 113A Business Manager Barbara Germany and the newly-appointed Interim Superintendent Robert Madonia during a finance and audit meeting Wednesday.
District 113A has been following a state-approved financial plan since being certified in financial difficulty in December 2009. The plan includes information on enrollment, staffing plans, borrowing, cash flow analysis, and budget expenditures and reductions.
The plan outlines four financial objectives for the district: maintain balanced budgets for fiscal years 2012, 2013, 2014 and beyond; implement and follow financial policies for fund balances cash-on-hand requirements; build fund balances over the next three years; and eliminate short-term borrowing for cash flow purposes.
Following a brief overview of the district's financial condition Wednesday, including the progress made over the past two years, state board members expressed concerns about growing class sizes.
"That is one of the difficulties they're having right now as they get their fund balances and cash flow back in order," said Deb Vespa, ISBE division administrator for school business services.
"(They want to get to the point where) they don't have to rely on tax anticipation warrants for cash flow and (they want to) build their fund balances," she said. "That's one of the first things they would like to do is start to build the educational side so they can start to bring back some of the programs they had while still living within their means and reducing class sizes."
One board member, who did not identify himself for those listening to the live audiocast, asked Madonia what he thinks about the district's education quality, considering the large class sizes and dramatic cuts.
"Things are certainly looking very positive for the future," Madonia said. "There will be 12 retirements this year, and the board will make a decision based on cost-savings for replacing those individuals, how much of that funnels into support staff, reducing class size and also enhancing fund balances. So I do think there are positive notes on the horizon."
In a report to state board members, State Superintendent Christopher Koch and CFO Linda Riley Mitchell acknowledged that District 113A has made improvements since 2009. However, the report states "ISBE staff remain concerned about the financial condition of the district, the number of revisions that have been made to District 113A's financial plan and underlying operational and financial issues that may have caused recent changes in District 113A management."
The report went on to state that ISBE staff remain concerned "that District 113A has an ambitious recovery planned in fiscal year 2012 and so many changes (both to the board and the administration) may make it difficult to effect a smooth management transition."
ISBE staff said they will continue to work with district administration and the local school board to monitor the financial condition of the district and its adherence to the approved plan.
The District 113A finance committee will begin working on another amendment to the plan in the coming weeks, per the board's request.
On Tuesday, Aurelio said the financial plan sent to the state did not reflect the $328,956 owed for "unallowable transportation reimbursements" for the 2008-09 school year. Should the district owe more, which Germany suspects might be the case, that information will also be built into the amended plan.