QUINCY — The proposed 2021-22 budget for Quincy Public Schools has no major changes over a tentative version presented in August — and neither does Chief of Business Operations Ryan Whicker’s message about the spending plan.
Federal funding tied to COVID-19 is “really what’s driving the budget to be positive,” Whicker said. “Without those federal funds, we’d be looking at deficits and cuts of some sort.”
The Finance Committee recommended the $89.5 million balanced budget Monday for approval by the School Board.
The budget includes a 3% increase in salary, a 1 % increase in Teacher Retirement System, or TRS, benefits and 0.5% increase in Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, or IMRF, benefits and a 10% increase in health insurance costs.
The education fund, the largest in the budget, saw a $501,000 increase in local property tax revenue, a $379,000 increase in evidence based funding from the state and an additional $2.8 million in federal funds.
In its four key operating funds, QPS expects to finish the year with a $20.2 million balance.
“It looks like we’re doing amazing, but without some of those federal funds attached to the ESSR (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund), we’d be in some trouble,” Whicker said.
The School Board expects to adopt the budget at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Overall cash flow so far this fiscal year “looks good,” Whicker said. “We are expecting it to be good.”
At 17% through the fiscal year, only four funds are above that spending level. Debt service covered bond payments due in August, and fire prevention/safety paid bills tied to summer projects.
Whicker said two other funds had big payments due at the start of the year — bus leases in transportation and liability and property insurance in tort.