It seems that education is in the news everywhere, and much of what is reported is not always positive or presents the public education system in an affirmative light. This is unfair to many school districts which are doing a commendable job educating children and exercising good fiscal controls. At the regular board of education meeting held on Tuesday, April 26, I reported on the financial condition of the school district as of the end of the Third Quarter. The good news is that despite the state’s inability to meet its financial obligations, the Marengo-Union Elementary District is still operating in the black and has been able to maintain some very slight cash reserves as well. I am projecting that the district should close the fiscal year slightly ahead of budgeted expenditures. The full report to the board of education can be found on the district’s website, (www.marengo165.org), under the data dashboard link. These spending practices are a direct reflection of the district’s commitment to maintaining a balanced budget and trying to regain some financial stability. This is the first year since 2004 that the district has not had to issue Tax Anticipation Warrants to cover cash flow deficiencies. This is remarkable considering where this district was four years ago. The district’s financial health would have even been better if the State of Illinois was able to pay their outstanding commitments. For this district, as well as many others, the lack of financial accountability for the State of Illinois causes the districts to eliminate many important programs. The state’s lack of financial resources has a genuine effect on the educational systems and local children. Closing on a positive note, as the largest school district in Marengo, District #165 is very serious about its obligations to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and continues to be creative in providing the best educational programs through the financial resources available.
Letter from the District #165 Superintendent
Lea Damish, Superintendent of Schools, Marengo-Union Elementary CSD # 165