The Oblong Unit 4 Board of Education passed a budget during Monday's meeting that keeps the district out of the red, but was anything but good news.
The budget passed ends with zero balances in the education and transportation budgets, but will require the abatement of the working-cash fund - which took years to build up - and the sale of more than $300,000 in bonds for this year and more than $500,000 in bonds for the next year.
Like most school districts around Illinois, Oblong finds itself in a precarious financial situation due to the chronically poor condition of state finances.
"It's easy to make a budget balance on paper, but that working cash fund took years to accumulate and now it's gone," Unit 4 Superintendent Jeff Patchett said. "I can't overemphasize the financial distress the district is under because of the current state of government finance in Illinois."
The budget passed Monday projects more disbursements than revenue in the education and transportation funds, which rely heavily on state aid payments.
In other financial matters, the board approved renewal of insurance premiums totaling $112,014 for the commercial package, commercial automobile and umbrella policies through WRM America and Worker's Compensation policies through Wesco.
In personnel matters, the board hired Joe Hill as assistant high-school boys' basketball coach and Erica Stence as assistant junior-high girls' basketball coach.
Also, the board approved the Administrator and Teacher Salary Compensation Report for the 2012-13 school year and approved one student's request for early graduation.
The board also approved:
A request from the FFA officers to attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 24 - 27.
A request from the FCCLA to attend leadership training on Sept. 30 - Oct. 1.
A request from the fifth-grade class to go to the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis Oct. 20.
The next regular meeting of the Unit 4 Board of Education will be Monday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Elementary Library.