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District 230 Board is confident it will pass 17th straight balanced budget

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Photo by Carla Erdey

As his coaches and school board members look on, Sandburg High School senior Colin Lewis of Orland Park gives a high five to Sandburg Principal Jen Tyrrell after she introduced him at the District 230 School Board meeting on Aug. 29. He was honored at the meeting for winning multiple gold medals for weightlifting in the Illinois Special Olympics.

By Dermot Connolly

The District 230 Board of Education is looking forward to passing its 17th consecutive balanced budget at its next meeting scheduled for Monday, Sept. 30.

Community residents will have an opportunity to speak to the board about the proposed $137.7 million operating budget for the 2020 fiscal year at a 7 p.m. public hearing in Andrew High School, 9001 W. 171st St., in Tinley Park.

The school board, which oversees Andrew, as well as Sandburg High School in Orland Park and Stagg High School in Palos Hills, will hold its regular monthly meeting immediately afterward. Meetings are usually held on the last Thursday of each month, but the date had to be moved to accommodate earlier committee meetings affected by the Labor Day holiday.

Before being voted on by the full board, the budget is scheduled to be discussed at the Building and Finance Committee at 7 p.m. Sept. 16.

The tentative budget will also be available for perusal on the district website at www.d230.org.

“It is a pretty tight budget but we will continue to meet with the departments and expect to hone it a little bit more (before the final vote) to have more of a cushion for us to work with this year,” said finance director John Lavelle, the assistant superintendent for business services at the board meeting last Thursday, when the hearing date was scheduled.

He noted that as of now, when the budgeted expenditures of $137,381,013 is subtracted from the expected revenue of $137,700,534, there will be $319,521 left.

“We hope to have a bit more information prior to the final budget related to both revenues and expenditures, so some changes will likely be made to the budget prior to its adoption on Sept. 30,” he said. Any changes will be made following the review by the Building and Finance Committee.

The proposed 2020 budget is about 2.4 percent higher than the current operating budget of $134,155,800.

“So this will be our 17th consecutive balanced budget?” asked board President Tony Serratore.

“Yes,” said Lavelle, confirming that the streak dates back to 2004.

“Good job, team,” said Serratore.

Earlier in the meeting, the board recognized the achievements of several students and staff in the district. These included Sandburg seniors and Orland Park residents Johnathan Schwartz and Colin Lewis. Schwartz achieved a perfect 36 score on the ACT, and Lewis was honored for winning several gold medals for powerlifting in the Special Olympics.

“He is the model of academic excellence in District 230,” said Sandburg Principal Jen Tyrrell. “He is at the top of the Carl Sandburg senior class and he was one question away from getting a perfect score on the SAT also.”

She credited him with being the ideal District 230 student, as “somebody who give their all, and tries a bunch of stuff.”

“I truly don’t know anyone who loves their school as much as Colin loves Sandburg,” said Tyrrell, of the student known by his coaches for giving “the best and most high fives.”

She said he won gold medals in the deadlift at the Illinois Special Olympics meet in 2017, 2018 ad 2019, as well as the bench and dead bench combo in 2019.

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