NEWS

Round Lake district seeks state financial help

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May 18, 2000                               (217) 782-4648 or (312) 814-3490

Matteson – Seeking to ensure the financial integrity and educational viability of the Round Lake schools, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) acted Thursday to set up a Financial Oversight Panel requested by Round Lake Area School District 116.

The district also requested emergency financial assistance, which could make additional state funds available to help the district meet its operational needs.

Following today’s action by the State Board, meeting in south suburban Matteson, State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee will appoint the three members to the panel within the next 10 days.

“The Round Lake district has recognized it faces difficult circumstances, and I commend its leaders for seeking state assistance,” said McGee.   “I’m confident the district and the panel will work together to continue to provide quality educational opportunity for students and place the district on sound financial footing.”

The District 116 School Board will continue to have responsibility for running the district.  Financial matters, however, will be subject to review and approval by the oversight panel.

Under current law, the Financial Oversight Panel will be in place for at least three years and faces a limit of 10 years.  Round Lake is the third school district to have such a panel appointed.

The school district, located in Lake County, was certified as being in financial difficulty in 1992 and has since submitted its financial plans for review and approval by the State Board.  The district failed to meet the goals laid out in its plans and continued to accumulate deficit fund balances.

McGee commended the Round Lake community for voting to support a $14.7 million building bond and a $.45 increase in the education tax rate.  “That is an important step in restoring the finances of the school district and preserving the educational opportunity available to its students,” said McGee.  “The citizens of the district have recognized the district’s financial difficulty and deserve credit for stepping up to deal with it.”