MATTOON -- At this time, it looks like the school district, along with every other district across the state, will receive some money when the evidence-based school funding formula kicks in.

However, the view is still murky as to how much that will be, Howie Crouse, PMA Financial consultant, told school board members Tuesday.

Crouse spoke on the formula’s role in the district’s financials during a presentation on a five-year-projection of those financials. He said based on what is known so far, the district is expected to see a welcome boost in revenues.

These calculations have not been completed, though. So, when school officials were developing a budget for the end of September deadline, they stayed “conservative,” said Tom Sherman, Mattoon assistant superintendent for business.

School board members OK’d the budget Tuesday, which is approximately $143,000 in the black.

The drawn up budget has expenses totaling approximately $35.5 million, and district officials are expecting slightly over that total. Sherman said when formulating the budget school officials remained lean despite promising projected numbers from the new formula.

Despite the budget approval, it is still uncertain how much money school officials will actually have to work with and that might be the case for a while. Larry Lilly, Mattoon superintendent, said previously that the new formula is vastly different from the old one and it will likely take time to put it in place. Recently, the school has been receiving payments based off of the old formula until it can be squared away.

Lilly has said he hopes the budget is figured out as soon as possible but does not expect payments based on the new formula until October or November.

Also at the meeting, board members allowed for school officials to solicit bids for the 2017-18 Building Trades house at 2013 Evergreen Court, the last school lot in the subdivision.

Over the school year, students will be building the home. School officials want to open bids early enough for the potential owners to have input into some of the construction of the house, such as the choice of cabinets, as previously reported.

School officials are looking for a minimum bid of $150,000. Sherman said this is based on what the district received for last year’s home. Bids will be accepted in a sealed envelope to Sherman until 2 p.m. Oct. 4.

The chosen bid will be presented to the school board members at their next meeting Oct. 10.

This will be the last home in the subdivision to be built by Mattoon students, but there are still lots for the future students to build on. Lilly noted the school will likely need to look out for additional lots to build on in the near future.


Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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