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Capital projects a priority in 2014-15 budget for D-41

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:31 p.m. CDT

GLEN ELLYN – The Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education reviewed a preliminary report of the 2014-15 school year budget Tuesday.

Assistant Superintendent Bob Ciserella presented the preliminary budget to the board, which includes an increase in capital project funds set at $7.9 million. Those funds are related to ongoing and future construction projects at district schools, Ciserella said.

Earlier this year, the board approved a $15 million construction project that would add 16 classrooms and additional learning space to elementary schools in the district.

Salaries make up the largest portion of expenses, accounting for slightly more than half of expenditures, according to board documents. In the 2013-14 school year budget, salaries accounted for 58 percent of expenses. The change is reflected in an increase in the amount of money the district is spending on construction projects.

The budget presented Tuesday has a revenue total of $51,549,251 and an expenditure total of $58,620,496.

Despite having more expenses than revenues, Ciserella said the district will still have more than $13 million in ending cash balance after the school year.

The capital projects portion accounts for 15 percent of the total budget, up from 4 percent the previous school year, board documents show.

In all, 86 percent of the total budget comes from property taxes.

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D-41 Board considers adding public comment opportunities

Also Tuesday, the board had preliminary discussions about possible changes in the public comment format.

Currently, the public is given a chance to speak at both the beginning and end of the meeting.

Board President John Kenwood suggested keeping those comment sessions, but also allowing the public to comment on every board item instead of waiting until the end of a meeting.

Kenwood also suggested keeping a list of everything mentioned during the public comment session and assigning someone to look into each item. Then, a follow-up report could be given at the next meeting talking about what, if anything, had been found out about the issue.

Kenwood said he felt it would be a good way to open up discussion between the board and the public and create accountability to make sure the board is answering the questions it's being asked.

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