SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Board eyes debt as state budget woes grow

Members of the District 230 School Board were keeping a close eye on the negotiations underway in Springfield as they set the schedule for their own budget calendar for the 2018 budget schedule last week.

          The board agreed at its June 29 meeting to hold the public hearing for the fiscal year 2018 budget at its Sept. 28 meeting, being held at 7 p.m. at Andrew High School, 9001 W. 171st St., Tinley Park. According to the schedule, the tentative budget must be available for public review by Aug. 28.

          When the board passed its $130 million operating budget last fall, Superintendent James Gay noted that it marked the 14th consecutive balanced budget for the district, since 2003-04, and the fourth year in a row that the district had not raised its tax levy. But he and John Lavelle, assistant superintendent of business services, acknowledged that keeping that streak going is not helped by the uncertainty in Springfield, where lawmakers are entering the third year without passing a budget.

          “I don’t want to create panic,” said Gay, stressing that District 230 high schools, Andrew, Sandburg and Stagg, will be opening on time whether or not there is a state budget in place. “We are able to open because of our fiscal responsibility over the years,” he said.

          However, he said the state’s inability to pay bills has affected the district.

“They owe us $1.6 million in categorials,” said Gay, referring to the quarterly payments the state pays the district for mandated costs, including transportation, special education and reduced-price lunches.

Lavelle said the district is still owed two of the four quarterly payments.

“When we do the budget, we assume we are getting our categoricals. Is it better to plan on not getting them?” asked board member Tony Serratore.

“It would be very difficult to get a balanced budget without them,” said Lavelle, pointing out that categoricals amount to more than $4 million in total. After the meeting, he said that when drawing up the budget for the coming year, he will probably factor in the outstanding categorials owed the district, and at least some of the ones that will be coming due.

Gay said he and the other district officials are kept apprised of the ongoing budget talks in Springfield. “There are a lot of moving parts,” but the chances of a state budget being passed any time soon “look gloomy,” he predicted.

The superintendent said he was “shocked” by the sudden resignation of state Sen. Christine Radogno (R-41st), the Senate minority leader, which went into effect Saturday. “Christine Radogno is a very good person. She has been a good friend to our district.”

District 230 receives 85 percent of its funding from property taxes, 10 percent from the state and 5 percent from federal funding. So Gay said the district would be hurt by a permanent property tax freeze advocated by Gov. Rauner as part of budget negotiations. He was told that the two-year freeze approved by the Senate will not be voted on in the House.

“The reason we’re opposed to it is our funding would be drastically affected. All of us want fair funding. Including our partner schools, 25,000 students would be affected,” said Gay, referring to the elementary and junior high schools that feed into the District 230 high schools.

Financially, “$39 million over four years is how it would affect us,” said Gay.

“We want to be good stewards of tax money. We’re already doing bonds and really lowering property taxes,” said the superintendent, referring to a $4.5 million bond issue discussed at the May meeting and formally approved last week. It will result in a drop of more than 21 cents per $100 dollars of assessed value in the district, according to officials. This will result in a reduction of $127 in annual property taxes levied by the district for median-priced homes in the district.

School Board President Rick Nogal credited the board’s “fiscal integrity and prudent financial management” for the AA1 rating assigned by Moody’s credit agency that made the reduction possible.

Local News

Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball: Marist, Brother Rice stay unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn. Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the…

Officers Verta and Harrison

Godspeed, Officers Verta and Harrison

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] It’s always good to know that even in these challenging times, there are men and women are willing to step forward to brave those challenges. And leave it to Garfield Ridge and Clearing to lead the way. I say that as I…

Virginia Wrobel (from left) and Dorothy Novotney, of the Evergreen Park Senior Citizens Council, present checks to Mayor Kelly Burke from proceeds from the annual "Memories to Go" village-wide garage sale. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park honors longtime employee

By Joe Boyle The Evergreen Park Village Board took care of some local business before Thanksgiving Day meals will be served. James Bender, a 27-year employee of the Evergreen Park Public Works Department, was selected as the “Employee of the Quarter” and honored at the village board meeting on Monday night. Mayor Kelly Burke recognized Bender…

Police Chief Dan Vittorio holds up the badge as officer Robert Carroll has Thor, the department's new canine officer, on a leash during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials say pension relief will not hinder homeowners

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan said the finances of homeowners need to be addressed while paying off pension deficits. Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22 that making budget adjustments for next year has to keep residents in mind due to rising inflation. “We may be…

lyons police logo

2 men arrested for Lyons carjacking were out on bond

By Bob Bong Lyons police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in an attempted carjacking in the 7700 block of 45th Place around 2 p.m. on November 29. Justin Lebron, 20, of Cicero, and Cesar Lopez, 18, of Waukegan, were captured after a foot case, police said. Police Chief Tom Herion said…

Ryan Plowman’s parents, Dan and Jen, receive hugs from the players before Monday night's game. Many knew Ryan from grade school. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Shepard, Stagg teams honor Ryan Plowman

Varsity girl basketball teams from Stagg and Shepard took time out before Monday night’s contest to pay tribute to Shepard student Ryan Plowman, who died earlier this year of complications from mononucleosis. Proceeds from the concession stand were donated to a gofundme campaign in Ryan’s name.  

Paul Stein (at left) and Odysseus Tsarouhis, co-owners of Reichman Jewelers, will be closing the store that has been at 4439 W. 95th St. In Oak Lawn since 1984. (Photo by Dermot Connolly )

Reichman Jewelers to close Oak Lawn store

July shooting of co-owner was deciding factor By Dermot Connolly Violent robberies at their own store and others in the area have led the longtime owners of Reichman Jewelers in Oak Lawn to close their business, which has been located at 4439 W. 95th St., since 1984. Reichman Jewelers dates back to 1908, and was at…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball: Marist, Brother Rice stay unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn. Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the…

Officers Verta and Harrison

Godspeed, Officers Verta and Harrison

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] It’s always good to know that even in these challenging times, there are men and women are willing to step forward to brave those challenges. And leave it to Garfield Ridge and Clearing to lead the way. I say that as I…

Virginia Wrobel (from left) and Dorothy Novotney, of the Evergreen Park Senior Citizens Council, present checks to Mayor Kelly Burke from proceeds from the annual "Memories to Go" village-wide garage sale. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park honors longtime employee

By Joe Boyle The Evergreen Park Village Board took care of some local business before Thanksgiving Day meals will be served. James Bender, a 27-year employee of the Evergreen Park Public Works Department, was selected as the “Employee of the Quarter” and honored at the village board meeting on Monday night. Mayor Kelly Burke recognized Bender…

Police Chief Dan Vittorio holds up the badge as officer Robert Carroll has Thor, the department's new canine officer, on a leash during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials say pension relief will not hinder homeowners

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan said the finances of homeowners need to be addressed while paying off pension deficits. Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22 that making budget adjustments for next year has to keep residents in mind due to rising inflation. “We may be…

lyons police logo

2 men arrested for Lyons carjacking were out on bond

By Bob Bong Lyons police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in an attempted carjacking in the 7700 block of 45th Place around 2 p.m. on November 29. Justin Lebron, 20, of Cicero, and Cesar Lopez, 18, of Waukegan, were captured after a foot case, police said. Police Chief Tom Herion said…

Ryan Plowman’s parents, Dan and Jen, receive hugs from the players before Monday night's game. Many knew Ryan from grade school. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Shepard, Stagg teams honor Ryan Plowman

Varsity girl basketball teams from Stagg and Shepard took time out before Monday night’s contest to pay tribute to Shepard student Ryan Plowman, who died earlier this year of complications from mononucleosis. Proceeds from the concession stand were donated to a gofundme campaign in Ryan’s name.  

Paul Stein (at left) and Odysseus Tsarouhis, co-owners of Reichman Jewelers, will be closing the store that has been at 4439 W. 95th St. In Oak Lawn since 1984. (Photo by Dermot Connolly )

Reichman Jewelers to close Oak Lawn store

July shooting of co-owner was deciding factor By Dermot Connolly Violent robberies at their own store and others in the area have led the longtime owners of Reichman Jewelers in Oak Lawn to close their business, which has been located at 4439 W. 95th St., since 1984. Reichman Jewelers dates back to 1908, and was at…

CRR NH European Foot Ankle House Ad
Regional Aurelios Pizza House Ad