GCMS school district's finances in good shape

By ROSS BROWN
bluehavanaross@gmail.com


GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school board members learned Monday night that the school district’s mid-year fiscal outlook is solid and that things are running smoothly.

Superintendent Jeremy Darnell said that only the debt service fund had greater than 50 percent spending, adding that the bonds have already been paid.

“All of our bonds are paid,” he said. “Most of them were due Dec. 1. All of our other funds are below 50 percent, which is where we want them to be with expenditures.”

Darnell said the state is behind on categorical payments as it has been for several years.

“Currently we have not gotten any mandated categoricals,” he said. “Our four mandated categoricals just for transportation alone are $78,000 each. We haven’t had any, and we should at this point have two, so we’re about $150,000 short there.”

The new school funding formula is not projected to have an impact on the district. The law was signed last August, although Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed an amendment to the funding mechanism last week, delaying its implementation.

“We are expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000 to $80,000 in new money from the school funding formula,” Darnell said. “When that money comes — they’re expecting us to get that sometime in April or May — it’s not hugely impactful for our district. It’s not a huge amount of money.”

Darnell said the district’s general state aid payments have been paid at a rate of two per month, which he said helps to absorb the unfunded categoricals.

Despite the state’s backlog of bills, Darnell said it is not unusual.

“There’s some things the state is doing that’s delayed, just like it has been,” Darnell said. “We will get those mandated categoricals, it’s just a matter of when. We got the last two from last year in the first quarter of this year.”

Overall, Darnell said the district’s finances are in good shape.

“Our fund balances are in good shape, our cash flow is in good shape and our spending is below the expected pace,” he said.

Other business
Also at the meeting:

➜ The board approved Jason Mackinson’s mowing bid for 2018. Darnell said the contract is the same as last year’s, though it is $15 less since a strip is being excluded at GCMS Middle School for a pollinator garden.

➜ The board granted a Family Medical Leave Act request for Jordan Ryan for six weeks beginning April 16.

➜ Michelle O’Neall was hired as GCMS Middle School scholastic bowl coach.

➜ Bob Huppert (baseball) and Taylor Leake (girls’ track) were approved as volunteer coaches.
 

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