NEW LENOX – Lincoln-Way District 210 officials released a report Monday showing projections of the district’s dire financial outlook roughly a year before they became more publicly apparent.
A PMA Financial Network report on April 7, 2014, shows the district was projecting a roughly $5 million deficit for fiscal 2014 and a $10 million deficit the following year.
The report also projected the district would decline in the state’s financial watch status in 2015 and stay there until at least 2019. That decline occurred the following spring when the Illinois State Board of Education released financial scores for districts that showed District 210 declined from early warning to financial watch.
Superintendent Scott Tingley said in a statement that following a January 2014 planning session with the board to discuss cuts, an independent financial analysis was ordered from PMA to “illustrate the need to continue to examine and consider cost reductions.”
“The report was based upon a number of assumptions and provided information on past deficits and potential future deficits. It was decided that this report would be used internally for the purpose of contract negotiations and changes [reductions] to personnel,” Tingley said in a statement.
Tingley said the district withheld the report for those reasons until the Illinois Attorney General’s Office ruled the report was not exempt under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
At the end of fiscal 2017, district officials have said they gained a surplus of about $3 million in their operating budget. Including land sales made this year, they said the budget had a surplus of about