District 200 finance advisory meeting lays groundwork

Group slated to meet through December

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

The first meeting of the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Finance Advisory Committee on Monday was mostly a meet-and-greet and housekeeping session.

All but two of the 15-member committee attended Monday's session. The group is scheduled to meet twice a month through December, and all the meetings are open to the public. A handful of people, fewer than 10, attended Monday's session, held inside the D200 board room at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

The bulk of Monday's session involved a breakdown of Illinois tax and school finance laws, though several members were well versed in those topics given their financial backgrounds.

The next nine meetings will focus on a single topic, including OPRF's financial projections and recent history of its fund balance. The only snag in the schedule is whether nine meetings are enough for the committee to do its work, a questioned raised by a few committee members.

Jeff Weissglass, the committee's chair who's also a D200 board member and vice president, said the schedule likely will be tweaked. Creating smaller working subcommittees to work on topics is an option, Weissglass said.

By December, the committee hopes to make a recommendation to the board concerning what to do with its $125 million fund balance. The board established the committee in the spring to help answer that question.

"I think it's really important to see ourselves as thinking about both the long-term financial ability of the school and also the interest of the community, and particularly those citizens as taxpayers, but also the impact on businesses," Weissglass said.

A video of Monday's session, and subsequent meetings, will be available on the high school's website.

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