October 4, 2002
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Bish J. Krywko of Round Lake selected to serve on School Finance Authority

State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller has appointed Round Lake resident Bish J. Krywko to fill the unexpired term of Alejandro M. “Alex” Solla on the School Finance Authority for Round Lake School District 116. Solla was appointed to a two-year term on the Authority in August but submitted his resignation when he learned that he was moving from the area.

Mr. Krywko has lived in Round Lake for seven years and currently has a son who attends Round Lake High School. Another son graduated previously from Round lake High School.

Krywko is employed by the Checker Taxi Association, which provides services to the taxi transportation industry throughout the Midwest. It is the largest such association in the Midwest, with over 1,400 members.

The School Finance Authority was created August 22 when the State Board of Education granted the District 116 Financial Oversight Panel’s petition to create the Authority.

The Oversight Panel voted unanimously in June to petition the State Board to authorize the School Finance Authority. The school district has been plagued with severe financial problems for several years and the State Board authorized the School Finance Authority after determining that the petition is “in the best interests of the educational and financial interests of the district.”

District 116 was placed on the state’s Financial Watch List and as a result of their deteriorated finances, the State Board certified the district as “In Financial Difficulty” on April 16, 1992. Required financial plans were developed but failed to stop the flow of red ink. The District faced a short-term debt of $10.5 million and long-term debt of $37 million in April of 2000 when the district asked the State Board to create a Financial Oversight Panel to improve its financial condition and to make the district eligible for a state emergency loan and grant.

The Panel secured the emergency financial assistance of a $1.4 million grant from the State and instituted several cost-cutting measures that produced the first balanced budget for the district in over ten years. Still, the district faced huge long-term debts that could not be met within the existing structure. The Panel considered several options for assuring long-term viability for the district and held several public hearings to gather input on the financial and organizational options for the district. The Panel concluded that a School Finance Authority, similar to one created by the legislature in 1980 to stabilize the Chicago Public School District’s finances, held the most promise for strengthening the education opportunities for students and stabilizing district finances.

The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation last spring authorizing the creation of a School Finance Authority with the approval of the State Board of Education. Governor George Ryan signed the legislation into law in June.