For Immediate Release
March 22, 2007

ISBE financial profiles show more schools in top financial condition, school districts show continued financial improvement

Governor’s proposed budget will further strengthen local district finances

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education released its annual look at the financial status of the states’ school districts, which shows their financial health continuing to make improvements. The results show nearly 60% of the states’ districts are in the highest category, receiving financial recognition, while only 6% are on the financial watch list.

“It is clear that the additional funding Governor Blagojevich and the General Assembly are making available to our schools, along with efficiency measures being implemented at the local level, are strengthening the financial condition of our schools,” said State Board of Education Chairman Jesse H. Ruiz. “The additional $1.5 billion Governor Blagojevich is proposing in his fiscal year 2008 budget will go a long way in helping districts improve financially even more.”

The School District Financial Profile was designed to better illustrate information on school district finances and to establish financial designation lists for all school districts. The Financial Profile is based on the State Board’s analysis of school districts’ June 30, 2006 Annual Financial Reports.

Each district in the state receives a designation in one of the following four categories (highest to lowest): Financial Recognition; Financial Review; Financial Early Warning; and Financial Watch.

For the 2007 Financial Profile, there are:

In addition to making gains over the FY06 Financial Profile (based on FY05 data), Illinois districts have made significant improvements since the 2004 Financial Profile (based on FY03 data).

“In the last five years, many school districts have been faced with financial problems and tough decisions that had to be made,” said Interim State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch. “Seeing our schools becoming more financially solvent is a good sign, however we must continue to work together to get additional resources for our students.”

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.