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$3 million in bonds

PRINCETON — The Princeton Elementary School Board will go out for $3 million in general obligation bonds to help meet expenses for the next three years.

At this week’s meeting, Superintendent Tim Smith said the $3 million in bonds is about $1 million more than issued three years ago. Part of that reason is the district is receiving $600,000 less annually in general state aid than it did three years ago.

In giving his financial report Monday night, Smith said the district is currently owed $664,688 from the state of Illinois. Of that amount, $491,226 is due in the education fund with 49 percent of that amount due in the Early Childhood Block Grant. The remaining $173,462 owed by the state is owed in the transportation fund.

Smith said the amount owed by the state is better than what it was a year ago, but on the other hand, the state is getting less than it did a year ago from the state.

Because of decreasing revenue from the state, PES will continue to have to watch its expenses very closely, Smith said. The district will have to consider substantial cost-saving measures in the future due to failed revenue sources.

In giving an update from the Finance Committee, board member Steve Bouslog reviewed the new tax levy of $5,627,256 and also the general obligation bonds as they related to the budgeting process for the district. The continued lack of revenue from the state won’t get better, which means the district will have to look for ways to become more efficient, consider possible cuts and look for alternate revenue sources, he said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the board agreed to review the district’s safety procedures and policies, as recommended by Bouslog. Princeton is not immune from a potential dangerous situation, like last week’s shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut, he said.

“If it happened in Connecticut, it can happen here,” Bouslog said.

Smith said school safety is on the agenda every month for staff meetings. It’s never not on the agenda. The message he wants to convey to the public is that the staff take school safety very seriously and these discussions are going on all the time, Smith said.

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