Education, Local News

District 233’s proposed $73.5 million budget is balanced

The District 233 checkbook should have a $1 million balance after paying an estimated $72.5 million in expenses for Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s 2023-24 school year.

The $73.5 million budget gets the majority of its funding from real estate taxes, expected to generate $39.61 million. Monies from other local revenues are estimated at $3.46 million. State support through Evidence Based Funding is projected at $22.62 million and restricted state and federal grants will bring in $7.63 million.

Lawrence Cook, chief school business officer, said he expects the district will end the budget year on June 30, 2024, with a $1 million surplus.

The district’s biggest expenditure is $38 million for salaries that are increasing by 8.5% on average. Two new administrative positions have been added: the new director of the Career and Technical Education program and the activities director. Also, three new positions have been added to the attendance office, and the director of special education will have a full time assistant.

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The budget shows increases in travel/professional development; online services; contractual department; and on operations and maintenance projects. These funds cover special education home-hospital needs; computer services; special education online support and the Gifted Academy.

The budget includes special infrastructure projects, including $300,000 for repaving the tennis courts and $300,000 for stadium/track repairs; $450,000 for improvements to the sound system in the Mall Auditorium; $46,000 for new equipment for the broadcasting program, and $1.9 million for roof repairs. 

Cook said he expects the district will receive another $2 million Property Tax Relief Grant from the state. This funding is in addition to the state’s Evidence Based Formula money. The grant is intended to help give tax relief to property owners in highly taxed districts. In the past, the state has mandated that the school district abate the grant amount to the taxpayers. Cook said he is waiting for final numbers and direction on whether the board will be mandated to abate the amount for two years.

The full budget is available online at hfhighschool.org. It is also available in the District 233 business office in the North Building. The board is expected to act on the budget at its Sept. 20 board meeting.

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