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News

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2006

Illinois schools continue to show financial improvement
Number of school districts in deficit spending declines for second straight year

SPRINGFIELD – The financial health of Illinois school districts continues to improve according to data released today by the Illinois State Board of Education. The State Board’s Financial Profile for each Illinois school district shows the number of Illinois school districts in deficit spending dropping for the second year in a row. For Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05), slightly more than 40 percent of Illinois school districts were deficit spending. In FY03 nearly 80 percent of districts spent more than they received.

“Governor Rod Blagojevich has worked hard to get more money into Illinois classrooms, and that hard work is paying off,” said State Board of Education Chairman Jesse Ruiz. “Bolstered by the Governor’s work at the State level, local districts are working hard to manage resources carefully. And, when you have that combination, the result is good for schools, good for communities and great for students.”

The School District Financial Profile was reviewed by the Illinois State Board of Education during its regularly scheduled meeting today (Thursday, March 16, 2006).

The data collected for school district deficit spending can be found in the School District Financial Profile available at http://www.isbe.net/sfms/P/profile.htm. 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 designation categories are in descending order (highest rating to lowest rating):

  • Financial Recognition
  • Financial Review
  • Financial Early Warning
  • Financial Watch

The results for FY 2006 Financial Profile (based on FY 2005 financial data) show continued improvement, with more than half of Illinois school districts achieving the highest ranking:

  • 55.3 percent of districts in Financial Recognition, compared to 39.8 percent in FY 2003 Financial Profile
  • 25 percent of districts in Financial Review, compared to 27.0 percent in FY 2003 Financial Profile;
  • 12.3 percent of districts in Financial Early Warning, compared to 15.7 percent in FY 2003 Financial Profile; and
  • 6.7 percent of districts in Financial Watch, compared to 17.5 percent in FY 2003 Financial Profile.

All indicators also showed improvement from Fiscal Year 2004 levels.

This is the fourth year that it has been utilized by the State Board of Education. The School District Financial Profile was developed with school superintendents, school business administrators, financial advisors, bond brokers and educational constituent groups throughout the state.

During the first three years of his administration, Governor Blagojevich dedicated $2.3 billion of new state funding into Illinois schools, increasing the per-pupil foundation level by $200 per year. This represents more new money invested in education than any other state in the Midwest, more than 43 other states in the nation, and more than any administration in one term in Illinois history.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777