NEWS

For Immediate Release                                                                                                               
Thursday, March 19, 2009

Illinois school districts show improvement on financial profiles during tough fiscal times


ISBE using revised data to avoid penalizing districtsfor late payments from the state

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its annual financial profile of the state’s public schools using revised data that takes into account that the state is behind in payments to school districts. The financial profile shows that districts across the state are doing a sound job managing their finances even during this current fiscal crisis.

 “These are extremely tough economic times and I know the flow of state aid is a major issue for school districts right now,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We get calls to our office everyday from districts that need overdue payments to run programs. This data shows that local school boards remain good stewards of our state resources.’’

 The 2009 Financial Profile is based on revised Fiscal Year 2008 data in order to eliminate the impact of payment delays for mandated categoricals such aspupil transportation, special educationand other expendituresdue to the state and national financial crisis.

 Currently, the state of Illinois has a backlog of bills totaling more than $3 billion, of which nearly $680 million are bills that were vouchered by the Illinois State Board of Education. The backlog of state bills dates back more than 3 months.

The School District Profile was designed to better illustrate information on school district finances and to establish financial designation lists for all school districts. Fiscal Year 2009 data provided to ISBE showed a 3 percent increase in the number of districts that achieved financial recognition, the highest ranking a district can receive, going from 69 percent of districts last year to 72 percent this year.

For the 2009 Financial Profile of 870 districts, there are:

Results of the Financial Profile
 
FY08 Financial Profile Based on FY07 data
FY09 Financial Profile Based on FY08 data
FY09 Financial Profile Based on FY08 Revised data

 

#
%
#
%
#
%

Financial Recognition

602
69.0%
590
67.8%
626
72.0%

Financial Review

182
20.8%
181
20.8%
165
19.0%

Financial Early Warning

59
6.8%
70
8.0%
57
6.6%

Financial Watch

30
3.4%
29
3.3%
22
2.5%

Total

873
100.0%
870
100.0%
870
100.0%

The Financial Profile designation is just one piece of information that school districts and communities should use to judge the financial management and condition of their school district.

The list is created by using five indicators of financial performance:

The School District Financial Profile was reviewed by the Illinois State Board of Education during its regularly scheduled meeting today.

The 2009 Financial Profile for all  districts in Illinois can be found online at http://www.isbe.net/sfms/P/profile.htm.

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