Sunnybrook District 171 looks to approve $17.2 million budget

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District 171
The District 171 main office is located at 19266 Burnham Avenue in Lansing. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
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BY JIM MASTERS

LANSING, Ill. (September 25, 2021) – Sunnybrook School District 171 is eyeing a $17.2 million budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which began July 1.

In his presentation to the District 171 Board of Education on September 20, Business Manager David Shrader said the budget would cover operations, teacher/staff salaries and $1.9 million in capital projects that are already underway or completed. Those projects include repaving of school parking lots, school restroom renovations, and heating/air conditioning upgrades at Nathan Hale Elementary.

“I’m very excited about the improvements we’ve made to our school as well as our educational programs,” he said. “There’s a lot of positive things going on in our district and I am very proud of that.”

Shrader said more school improvement projects are on the horizon, but he declined to go into detail until they are presented before the school board. As such, he sees District 171, which has about 1,000 students, as being in strong financial shape.

“This budget will allow us to maintain our programs and staff. We’ve even added a couple of staff positions,” he said. “Two of them are being funded through federal grants.”

Shrader said that federal and state grants are essential to District 171’s annual budget, as are local property taxes, which account for about 42% of the budget. The current budget does not add any new debt.

Shrader noted that 12% of the budget is funded through federal grants, explaining how that figure is higher than normal this year because of pandemic-related funding made available to school districts.

Commenting on District 171’s financial health, Shrader said, “The State of Illinois (which must approve the final budget) has a financial profile of each school district, which places us at a 3.8 on a 4.0 scale. We’re trying to be fiscally responsible with respect to the generosity of the taxpayers who support our schools. We’re definitely very mindful of how much we spend and on what we spend things on.”

District 171 headquarters is located at 19266 Burnham Avenue, Lansing, IL.