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IC #189 Passes a Healthy FY 2020 Budget
Mike Ward
Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Illini Central CUSD#189 Board of Education approved the FY20 budget at its latest meeting.  This budget demonstrates that the district is in good financial health. The budget includes a small surplus balance in the Education fund. This is the first time since fiscal year 2015 that the district has passed a surplus budget in this fund.  In addition, the Operation & Maintenance and Transportation funds also have budget surpluses.  

The district’s Operating Funds are comprised of the Education, Operation & Maintenance and Transportation funds along with the Working Cash fund. The district overall financial health is best determined by evaluating the surplus or deficit in these combined funds.  For FY2020, revenues in these funds total $8,073,375. Expenditures total $8,016,712.  

The overall district budget does show a deficit of $333,124.The district projects it will spend $9,797,726 in this fiscal year while receiving $9,464,602.  This is attributed to the costs associated with the high school roof project.  The $650,000 project is paid for out of the Capital Project fund. The Capital Project fund’s revenue is generated from the School Facility Sales Tax.  The district anticipates receiving about $285,000 in sales tax proceeds this year. The remaining portion of the roof project cost is covered by existing fund balances.  If this project is removed from the budget, the total surplus is 

The district’s budget represents a number of real-world programs and improvements..  A new science curriculum for the middle and high schools is being implemented this fall.  The district has continued to upgrade technology for student use. This year, all students in grades 6-12 have Chromebooks assigned for individual use throughout the day.  

The budget also supports efforts in the grade school to continue with the implementation of a new writing curriculum.  The budget also supports a number of staff and tools that are used to provide interventions, supports, and differentiated instruction for students. This is particularly important at the grade school level in order to provide instruction appropriate for each student.

In addition, the Board and the Illini Central Education Association recently agreed to a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. That agreement continues to reward the district’s hardworking teachers with a competitive salary and benefit package, while also keeping the district competitive in the teacher recruitment  market. 

The budget also includes the lease/purchase of three new school buses that will be delivered in late 2019.  The district encompasses over 260 square miles, and a large percentage of students travel to and from school on buses.  The district is also purchasing software that will allow school officials to track buses through GPS and evaluate bus performance.  Parents will have the ability to access information through an app that can be downloaded to cell phones. 

The Illinois State Board of Education annually prepares a financial profile summary for each district.  Using a number of criteria, ISBE will assign a financial score and designation to each district. For FY2018, Illini Central earned a perfect score of 4.0/4.0 and received a designation of “Recognition”.  FY2019 designations have not yet been released, but the district is confident that the same perfect score will be earned. Based on the projections for FY20, the district is equally confident that a 4.0 will be earned for a third straight year. 

The budget presentation can be found at

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Mike Ward, superintendent at 217-482-5180.