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BV’s financial status drops

MANLIUS — The Bureau Valley School Board heard from Auditor David Wilcoxson at its November meeting, and the news wasn’t pretty.

Wilcoxson said the district’s Financial Profile, as computed by the Illinois State Board of Education, had fallen from the second highest category of Financial Review to the lowest category, Financial Watch. The designation is created by using five indicators of financial performance, which include fund balance to revenue ratio, expenditures to revenues ratio, days cash on hand, percent of short-term borrowing available, and percent of long-term debt remaining.

For 2012, BV’s Financial Profile score was 3.35, out of a possible 4.0 points.

For 2013, BV’s scores were cut in half for the first three categories. The number of days cash on hand dropped from 77.88 days to 22.84 days.The only category to see an improvement was the percent of long-term debt. The total score was 2.30.

In all of Illinois last year, only 17 districts in the entire state were designated Financial Watch.

Wilcoxson said the total deficit was $1,676,595. One piece of good news was that all of the funds have positive balances.

The audit also includes enrollment figures. Enrollment at BV has dropped 19 percent, or from 1,415 students in 1998 to 1,148 this year. Average daily attendance is also down somewhat over the last 17 years. For 2012, average daily attendance was 1,065.

The operating expense per pupil for 2012 was $10,946, which Wilcoxson said is still below the state average.

The 2011 taxed assessed valuation decreased about $2.7 million from the 2010 valuation. The tax rate increased about three cents, to $5.35 per $100 assessed value.
Wilcoxson said the $2.7 reduction was primarily caused by a $4 million reduction in residential, a 13.5 percent reduction in house prices, and a $1.2 million increase in farm assessed valuation.

In other business, the board:

• Heard the district’s EAV has increased by approximately 4.1 percent, which increases the Education Fund by $160,000.

• Heard a report from Building and Grounds chairman Don DeWaele on current playground and sidewalk upgrades. DeWaele said it would take a total of 1,033 tons of pea gravel to cover all of the district’s playgrounds. DeWaele said pea gravel was the most economical option, and at a price of $9.75 per ton, would cost $10,071. He said the trucking would be the biggest expense, but two local truckers had offered their services at no cost.

• Heard the Foundation Drawdown is set for March 23, 2013, at Arnie’s in Deer Grove.

• Accepted the low bid of AgView FS for fuel products for the district.

• Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Bradford School District for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years at 105 percent of capita. Twenty-seven students are currently enrolled with Bureau Valley.

• Accepted the resignation of Mary Atwell, prekindergarten coordinator/aide at Wyanet.

• Employed Jessica Lannen, prekindergarten coordinator/aide at South; Jessica York, BVS classroom aide; and Edwin Tye as BEST program substitute teacher.

• Heard a reminder about the upcoming school board elections. Due to redistricting, all seven Bureau Valley Board seats are up for election. Election materials are available at the district office in Manlius. The first day for nominating petitions to be filed at the office is Dec. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last day for filing is Dec. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. only.

The next regular meeting of the Bureau Valley School Board will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the district administrative office in Manlius.

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What's it cost?

The cost of educating a child varies widely across the county. The recent Illinois Report Card includes the operating expenditure per pupil statistic for the 2010-11 school year.

Bureau Valley $10,282

Cherry $16,429

Dalzell $8,395

DePue $10,490

Hall $12,246

Ladd $8,104

LaMoille $10,327

Leepertown $14,503

Malden $11,418

Ohio Grade $13,559

Ohio High $25,431

Princeton Elementary $8,161

Princeton High $11,044

Spring Valley Elementary $7,468

State $11,664

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