Batavia school district expects budget surplus for 2022-23 school year

Batavia School District 101

Batavia Public School District 101 outlined its preliminary draft budget for the 2022-23 school year at its June 21 meeting.

“This is our first pass at the budget and our first look at what revenues and expenditures might look like,” Chief Financial Officer Anton Inglese said.

Inglese said while a surplus of $1.5 million is projected for the budget, the board should remain cautious.

“That surplus looks better than it really is in actuality,” he said. “Overall our revenues are increasing by 0.6%, which is good given what we’re facing, but our expenditures are increasing 3%. So the growth of our expenditures is significantly outpacing our revenues. That does cause concern.”

The early budget will see a total revenue of $124.3 million and a total expenditure of $122.8 million, according to meeting documents.

Inglese also said staffing has increased relative to enrollment.

“We’re going from about an 8.1 ratio of students to staff to about a 7.7, which is excellent and on average,” Inglese said. “It will have a positive influence on our class sizes across the district.

“I would venture to say it’s the best ratio we’ve ever had in the history of our school district.”

District salaries will increase 5.2% to $50.8 million to account for inflation, as well as new and unfilled positions, according to documents.

“With expenditures increasing and enrollments decreasing, we will have to be cautious,” inglese said. “This is the first pass at the preliminary budget. It will change.”

Later in the meeting, the board began discussion on how it will proceed with choosing an executive search firm to assist in hiring a new superintendent.

Superintendent Lisa Hichens will retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year after 10 years in the role.

Hichens said a search firm helps to streamline the superintendent hiring process.

“It is not something that most school districts do without the help of some expertise,” she said. “A search firm can do things like hold focus groups and get some information from all your different stakeholder groups.”

St. Charles School District 303 hired a new superintendent through the use of a search firm in April.