FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2003
State Board Approves Oversight Panel for Venice
Will seek to develop emergency financial recovery
SPRINGFIELD - The State Board of Education today certified
Venice CUSD #3 as in financial difficulty and approved
creation of a financial oversight panel (FOP) to help
develop an emergency assistance and recovery plan for
the troubled school system.
The State Board took action in a special meeting held
by conference call. This is an important first
step in making sure Venice can manage its resources and
operate its programs in the best interests of its students
and the taxpayers, said Robert E. Schiller, State
Superintendent of Education. The FOP, the local
board and the community must work together for this to
The Venice School Board voted June 18 to ask the State
Board to create the oversight panel. The district is in
the midst of a major financial crisis, Schiller said.
The school district maintained no financial records for
FY02 and 03 and has not filed its annual financial report
with ISBE for FY02. The district could not meet its last
teacher payroll nor pay its adult education staff. In
addition it has not paid its special education co-op nor
provided special education services for students.
The district submitted a corrective action plan to the
State Board in June, but it was considered insufficient
in addressing these problems. The district submitted a
revised plan June 20, which is under review by ISBE.
Under state law, the financial panel created today is
empowered to provide oversight and approval for additional
borrowing by the district, as well as development of an
emergency recovery plan. It has the authority to approve
or disapprove spending decisions made by the local school
Under the law, the panel can recommend an Emergency Financial
Assistance grant from ISBE of $66,250 ($250 per student)
and an Emergency Financial Assistance Loan of $265,000
($1000 per student.) The loan would have to be approved
by the General Assembly and the Governor. Neither request
has yet been made.
In addition, the panel could recommend special legislation
such as creation of a School Finance Authority
or even dissolution of the district to address
State Superintendent Robert E. Schiller has 10 days to
appoint the three-member oversight panel.
Venice becomes the fourth Illinois school district under
an FOP, joining East St. Louis, Livingston (Madison County)
School districts in Round Lake and Hazel Crest are under
the oversight of School Finance Authorities, which have
broader powers than the FOP.
Attached is a copy of the resolution
approved today by the State Board.