Plano Community United School District 88 issued a statement on Monday, May 18 detailing the steps district officials have taken to balance the district's budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement reads as follows:
"Although Plano CUSD 88 will be faced with financial challenges similar to every other public entity, the commitment to the taxpayers will continue to remain as strong as ever. One thing is for certain with the Board of Education in Plano… they stick to their commitments. In 2014, the Plano School Board adopted the following financial commitments to their taxpayers:
• Supporting and monitoring academic progress as well as personal growth of students.
• Managing district assets to reduce debt issues and protect our community by not passing along additional taxes.
• Monitoring fund balances to ensure that resources are available for emergencies or unexpected revenue changes.
• Improving and maintaining district facilities.
"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the school district has continued to monitor the impact on its students, staff and families. There is no doubt that this current reality will have setbacks for all of our stakeholders. It is important that we are sensitive to the needs of our students and community now more than ever. Although schools are not open, the district has continued to provide high level learning opportunities for students and remains committed to supporting our employees during this unprecedented time. The district plans to reinvest any potential cost savings from unused fuel and energy toward technology and facility safety measures for a much-anticipated re-opening next fall.
"The district continues to demonstrate efforts to relieve property owners of the local impact of school funding. Through the efforts of tax abatements since 2014, totaling over ten million dollars and the new Evidence Based Funding formula in Illinois, school funding for District 88 has slowly shifted away from the property tax burden on local taxpayers. In February 2020, Plano CUSD 88 learned that we were one of 39 districts in the state to receive a Property Tax Relief Grant from the State of Illinois. The two-year commitment will allow the district to relieve its taxpayers of approximately $3.7 million dollars.
"What does that mean for a typical taxpayer? For example, a home that is valued at $200,000 would generate a savings of approximately $1,000 ($500/year in upcoming 2 years).
"Looking ahead, Plano CUSD 88 knows that next year will be a difficult financial year. The district is hopeful that those homeowners that are able will pay their tax bills in a timely manner. The district is also hopeful that the state and federal governments will continue to support education in the decisions that lie ahead. Currently, the district is in a position that will likely require us to access reserved funds to uphold the financial commitments we have previously made and not pass this burden on to our tax payers in this difficult year.
"In closing, Plano CUSD 88 would like to thank all of the essential workers that have kept our country going through this difficult time. We are also thankful for the work of our staff members to continue providing meals, remote learning opportunities and technology support to our number one priority, our students."