District 203 projects loss of $27 million over the next 5 years

Jake Pfeiffer, Staff Writer

Naperville District 203 administrators projected a loss of over $27 million in balance by 2027 in a financial forecast during the Nov. 15 Board of Education meeting.

This loss is fueled by a projected average yearly expenditure increase of 2.8%, outpacing District 203’s  revenue growth of roughly 2.3% per year.

Despite this disparity, District 203 Communications Director Alexander Mayster finds no reason for concern.

“While expenditures are continuing to rise, they are not rising at a rate that is alarming,” he said in an email.

Growth in salary and benefits costs is expected to be the main source of this increase in expenditures. 

The rise in health care costs plays a big factor in the rise of expenditures,” Mayster said.

According to Mercer, a global consulting firm, companies on average expect a 4.7% increase in healthcare benefit costs in 2022. 

District 203 itself made these predictions based on an expected growth in health costs of 8% in 2023, and 5% every year after.

For all other expenses, the district projects a yearly 2% increase on cost.

To return to the budget surpluses District 203 maintained for over a decade before the COVID-19 pandemic, including a surplus of $206 million, Mayster said that measures must be taken.

“To combat that rise in expenditures. our district and board of education will need to [be] prudent and fiscally responsible when making financial decisions,” Mayster said.