By Chris Johnson

News Correspondent

According to State Statute, Meridian School District was required to have its annual Property Tax Levy-request for funds on file no later than Tues. Dec. 27, 2016. The time to work through budgets is here now, as the District’s second semester begins. The focus on budgets for operations and maintenance expenses as well as transportation and special education needs are being addressed.

The State of Illinois has been late with some of its payments in recent years. The District will benefit if the situation is not similar next year. With the possibility of slow action from Springfield, Trustees have to look at the possibility of delayed-payment again this year as they develop their budgets. Money can’t just be freely moved around.

In the public school system, funds have to be set aside and cannot be moved from designation to designation as a standard plan. In an emergency situation flexibility can be experienced through the use of funds in various reserves. As a normal matter of rule the School Board is much more regulated in how it can disperse the funds through specifically categorized accounts.

Often developing a budget means finding a “happy medium”, an area where everyone can get a little, to get specific things done, which could mean a more enjoyable learning experience for students is raised.

Once the final budget is developed and Trustees with District 223 have a chance to look at the plan, it is presented to the taxpaying public for their review. The Fiscal Year Budget is on display for a specific number of days before final action can be taken on it. The Board has the power to make adjustments, if it is deemed necessary. With bookwork handled, attention can be shifted back to student-planning. That means helping the kids get ready for what lies next.

Senior students at Stillman Valley High School will be looking at making plans for life after high school. Younger students get to lock down their schedules for the upcoming school year. With mid-term finals in the books for districts across the State of Illinois, the time to turn towards the final push begins.

District 223’s FY 17 Tentative Budget Presentation along with other financial tracking information is available at the district 223 website, meridian223.org.