Annual Financial Watch List Released


March 21, 2001

217/782-4648 or 312/814-3490

Ten Illinois school districts are included on the State Board of Education’s 2001 Financial Watch List, which was released today in Springfield at the Board’s monthly meeting.  Last year’s list had seven districts on it.

The Financial Watch List is one of five categories comprising the State Board’s Financial Assurance and Accountability System (FAAS).  The FAAS classifies all districts according to their financial condition and provides financial technical assistance to school districts experiencing financial difficulty.

State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee said that “It is clear local districts are benefiting from the continuing support of Governor Ryan and the General Assembly.  Governor Ryan’s commitment to improving Illinois education is evident in this year’s budget where he again pledged 51 percent of all new state revenues to education. We are all working together to make Illinois schools Second to None.”  

Greater financial improvement may also be available in the near future if recommendations by the Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) are put in place.   

Members of EFAB were appointed last June by Ryan to make recommendations to the General Assembly for the foundation level of funding.  Recommendations for this year include an increase of $135 in FY2002 for General State Aid and Hold Harmless.  This would yield a foundation level of no less than $4,560 (presently $4,425).   

EFAB also recommended a decrease in the minimum threshold for access to the poverty grant from the present 20% to 15%, and that the poverty grant be a percentage of the foundation level, rather than the current fixed dollar amount.   

Districts are assigned to a FAAS category based on a ratio comparing their fund balance to revenues.  The ratio measures operating fund balances against revenues in the educational, operations and maintenance, transportation, municipal retirement/social security and working cash funds.  The figures are taken from the districts’ Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000.-more-

A district is placed on the Financial Watch List when one or more of the following occurs:

  1.   The district’s ratio is negative;

  2. It has issued teachers orders or funding bonds to retire teachers orders in three of the last five years;

  3.  It has issued second-year tax anticipation warrants or notes;

  4. Expenditures for the aggregate totals of the educational, operations and maintenance, transportation and working cash funds have exceeded revenues and reserves in those funds for two consecutive years; or

  5. It has not submitted the Illinois School District Annual Financial Report to the Illinois State Board of Education in time to be included in the FAAS ratio calculation.

Two districts—Livingston CCSD 4 in Madison County and Spring Lake CCSD 606 in Tazewell County-- have been certified as “In Financial Difficulty” and continue to be monitored by State Board staff.  These districts must develop multi-year financial plans that propose solutions to their fiscal problems.  The State Board must approve the plan. 

East St. Louis School District 189 and Round Lake Area School District 116 required Financial Oversight because of the severity of their fiscal problems.  A three-member external panel, appointed by the State Superintendent, must approve all financial activity for such districts.    

2001 Financial Watch List
*New to Watch List 

Alexander                                                                   St. Clair
Cairo USD 1*                                                              Cahokia CUSD 187
                                                                                    Dupo CUSD 196

Cook                                                                           Stephenson
Calumet City SD 155*                                                 Lena Winslow CUSD 202* 

Kane                                                                           Warren
Geneva CUSD 304*                                                    Roseville CUSD 200* 

Waukegan CUSD 60* 

Panhandle CUSD 2 

School districts not submitting the Illinois School District Annual Financial Report (AFR) by the required deadline: 

Zeigler-Royalton CUSD 188* 

2001 Certified as “In Financial Difficulty”
Livingston CCSD 4 

Spring Lake CCSD 606 

Financial Oversight
Round Lake Area SD 116 

St. Clair
East St. Louis SD 189 

Districts Removed from the Financial Watch List
A-C Central CUSD 262 

Elmwood Park CUSD 401 

St. Clair
Millstadt CCSD 160
Signal Hill SD 181