Board approves deficit budget

Shortfall more than $250,000

ROCK FALLS – The Rock Falls Township High School board will look for ways to reduce the deficit in its budget, which was approved Wednesday night, the district’s superintendent said.

The budget has a deficit of $252,574, the result of $10,532,486 in expenditures and an estimated $10,279,912 in revenue.

But of greater concern for the district is a combined $893,618 in the education, building, transportation and working cash funds, which Superintendent Ron McCord said the district has less control over.

Increasing the revenue in those funds would require a referendum, he said.

Because of surpluses in the debt, municipal and tort funds, which McCord said the district has more control over, the overall deficit is lower than that of the problematic funds.

The district will look to reduce the budget’s total deficit, and specifically those four funds, for the 2015 fiscal year budget by looking for additional revenue streams or cutting expenditures, McCord said.

The 2014 budget was approved by a 5-0 vote. Board members John Howard and Josh Coward were absent.

The overall deficit was reduced by $655,733 from the 2013 fiscal year budget, and the deficit for the education, building, transportation and working cash funds was reduced by $376,032 from last year’s budget.

McCord also presented the school board with its sixth day enrollment, which showed 671 students between the high school, alternative school and special education students.

The enrollment is projected to drop to 654 students in 2014-15, before increasing to 719 students in 2018-19, based on the current enrollment at the Rock Falls feeder schools.

Those enrollments could change by 10 to 20 students per year, McCord said.