District 204 Budget in Trouble

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At the last District 204 board meeting, the board discussed a troubling budget forecast.

Rising property values and decreasing student enrollment means the district will receive less money from the state aid formula, even though limitations in the tax code prevent the district from increasing taxes enough to make up the difference.

While Springfield is trying to revise the school funding formula, gridlock has so far prevented any new legislation from being made into law.

The state is also considering a property tax freeze, which if passed, would result in lost revenue over five years totaling over $36 million for a two year freeze, or over $57 million for a permanent freeze.

“A property tax-freeze sounds good most people, but it’s really not good for a lot of people, especially when you’re taking away the education programs that we’re looking at,” said District 204 Board Member Cathy Piehl.

The board suggested spreading awareness about its budget and the impacts of a tax-freeze, so that the public can know what to expect.

Currently, the state owes District 204 $15.3 million in unpaid categorical payments.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.