ORION -- School board members on Wednesday learned the district won't be in bad shape, even if the state prorates aid to 74 percent.
Superintendent David Deets told board members such a change by the state wouldmean a $100,000 cut to the district. But he noted the district'sfund balances are almost $5 million, enough to keep the district in business for 65 days.
He noted accountants would prefer a 90-day cash reserve, or $4 million to $5 million more. But he noted "that's almost impossible to achieve in today's environment."
He credited building principals and staff with being prudent with money.
"I think we've accomplished tremendous efficiencies," he said. "We have more people doing more with less. We can be pleased our fund balances are as stable as they are."
School board president Doug Nelson recalled the worst of Orion's cash reserves years ago.
"At the bottom level, we were at 16 days and we knew we were in a world of hurt," he said.
Mr. Deets also said the district has maintained a "pretty good" tax rate in recent years that has been stable despite roof work. He said district officials are mindful that a low tax rate is key to growing the community.
"We bit the bullet some years ago and it was painful," he said, adding he didn't foresee any drastic reductions in the future.
Also on Wednesday, the board:
-- Learned Orion tied for the highest number of Illinois State Scholars among smaller districts in the area. Orion has nine: Drew Amador, Austin Anderson, Hannah Blaser, Melinda Buckrop, Katherine Garrity, Adam Killion, Tyler Nelson, Jacob Schulenberg and Benjamin Vanduyne.
-- Approved Moline's request to withdraw from the Black Hawk Area Special Education District. United Township and Silvis school boards also have approved the request.
-- Approved a $20,000 phone system Mr. Deets said should bring the district into this century while providing labor efficiencies.
-- Reviewed an informational sheet showing that, at halfway through the year, the district has spent 54 percent of its budgeted expenditures and taken in 49 percent of budgeted revenue.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.