I received this and felt it was important to pass on. We pulled our voices together before and were heard. Let's do it again... Did you know more than 2/3 of your property taxes support our schools? Of the 67.42% of my 2013 taxes that went to schools, 4% went to Harper, 28.8% went to District 211 and 34.6% went to District 15. We have fabulous schools and school staff. Why should we sit back and say nothing as uncontrolled budgets and expenditures, fiscal irresponsibility, put our schools and programming at risk? I hope to see you tomorrow at 7PM at the Board Meeting at Sundling.
"Dear District 15 Community,
Are you concerned about your property taxes? You should be. District 15 is, once again, heading down the slippery slope of deficit spending. This will ultimately lead to higher taxes.
The budget for this year authorizes a $4.0 million deficit and is on the agenda for approval by the D15 School Board this Wednesday, September 10th, at 7pm.
Putting this in perspective... to balance the budget would require only a 1.5% reduction in the District's $151 million expenditures budget. A reduction of this size would continue to fund the $1.8 million for additional capital improvement projects approved by the Board in March from our relatively small fund balance surplus.
A balanced budget does NOT have to mean elimination of programming, teachers or services. A balanced budget can easily be accomplished through some combination of finding real savings, deferring discretionary spending, and/or adjusting the forecast if estimates are overly conservative.
HOW TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK
In Person: A public comment period is on the agenda at each Board Meeting before the Board takes action. Board meetings are normally held at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School.
Email: Board Member email addresses are listed at District 15 School Board. And/or you can provide feedback to Superintendent Scott Thompson at email@example.com or to me by replying to this email.
As you may recall, the severe structural deficit we were facing in District 15 was corrected over two years ago through a collaborative effort between the board, administration, employee groups and the community.
Unfortunately that success appears to be slipping away. This slide is apparent in the estimates for the 2014-2015 budget. The following shows how the estimated 2014-2015 deficit has gotten worse each time we received an update over the past year:
October 2013: $1.1 million deficit
March 2014: $1.3 million deficit
June 2014: $3.6 million deficit
September 2014: $4.0 million deficit
As you can see, the District 15 Administration has long been forecasting a deficit but has not taken action to balance the budget. Nor have they presented options to the Board to help reduce or eliminate the forecasted budget deficit. On top of this, there are a number of members of the Board who are just sitting back and letting this situation happen to us."
Be a voice for yourself, your tax rate and your community. Come to the meeting and tell the Board why they need to live within their means by balancing the budget. If you don't speak up now, your voice will only be used to complain later about your increasing tax bill.