Yorkville School District Y115′s budget is growing: Board OKs $91M spending plan

Yorkville School District Y115 officials listen to a budget presentation on Sept. 26, 2022 at the high school library. They are, from left, Associate Superintendent Nick Baughman, Superintendent Tim Shimp and school board President Lynn Burks.

YORKVILLE – In every sense, Yorkville School District Y115 is growing.

The enrollment count has grown by 263 over last year, now standing at 6,947 and projected to add another 1,500 students in the next 10 years.

Educational programming is growing as well. The district has just expanded its kindergarten program to a full-day of classes, a major improvement over the half-day model that was the only option for parents until now.

The district has added another school building to its inventory with the purchase and transformation of a former private preschool into the new Early Childhood Center.

And, new staff members of all types, ranging from additional kindergarten teachers and social workers to more security guards, has grown the district payroll to about 900 employees.

These additions, along with a new four-year teacher contract with the Yorkville Education Association, are among the drivers behind an increase in the school district’s budget for fiscal year 2023.

The Yorkville School Board approved a $91.2 million spending plan, up from $85 million last year, at its Sept. 26 meeting.

With $95 million in revenues the district’s operating budget shows a healthy surplus, but Finance and Operations Director Kreg Wesley remains cautious as the district awaits an anticipated $19.6 million in aid from the state of Illinois.

“We’re hedging our bets,” Wesley said. “We need to be prepared if that doesn’t happen,” he said of the state money.

“The message to community members is that we are being responsible and not living beyond our means,” Wesley said.

Roughly $60 million, or about 72% of the district’s operating budget, comes from property taxes, Wesley said.

Meanwhile, the district’s capital budget was approved at $5.4 million. The money is designed to cover school building roofing projects, as well as costs associated with the Early Learning Center and other building and equipment costs.

In 2020, the district generated $9 million for the capital fund through the refinancing of bonds, Wesley said, adding that the district now has a bond rating of 3.8 on a 4-point scale.

Kreg Wesley is the director of finance and operations for Yorkville School District Y115.