Faced with an unexpected surplus after schools shut down last spring, Naperville Unit District 203 plans to repay taxpayers a total of $10 million to help ease the financial burden of the COVID-19 crisis.
The statewide stay-at-home order halted in-person operations from March through the end of the 2019-20 academic year, saving the district money in areas of utilities, transportation, food service and staffing, Chief Financial Officer Michael Frances said.
The reduced expenses resulted in an unplanned budget surplus of about $14 million, he said. The school board this week unanimously approved allocating $10 million of those funds toward providing property owners with a one-time reimbursement.
“I think this is something the board has set as a high priority, looking at just being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars,” Vice President Donna Wandke said. “This is something that almost no other school district in the state, or at least the area, has done. It’s really exciting that we have the opportunity to do this.”