Since 2005, the Board of Education and Sycamore administration have utilized financial parameters to monitor and contain expenditure growth. By utilizing these parameters, the district has held the growth of its budget for operations at an average rate of one percent per year for the last decade.
Using this framework for the district's expenditure goals, the Board approved new financial parameters in August 2016, promising no more than an average of 2.5 percent growth per year through 2021. An accountability clause would require any changes to be approved by the Board.
In November 2004, district residents entered a contract with Sycamore Community Schools by approving a 5.5 mill, five-year levy for district operations. In return, in February 2005, the district promised to maintain the quality of educational programs within budget constraints and to monitor and contain the expenditure growth of the district. The Board of Education directed district administration to limit expenditure growth trends, utilize annual expenditure caps, and maintain an adequate cash reserve to cover emergency capital needs or tax structure revisions/state budget cuts that may impact revenue.
This five-year pact was made to allow time for the district to manage costs, preserve Sycamore’s outstanding school system, and to build trust with the community. The community renewed the 2004 operating levy in 2009 with no increase in tax rate.
Residents approved a 6.5 mill operating levy on November 8, 2016. The Board has committed that the levy will last at least five years.
The Board and administration continue to utilize financial parameters as a financial management tool. Click here for the most recent financial parameters resolution.