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A Message from Your Superintendent
An analysis conducted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has once again ranked District 57 in the highest financial category among school districts in the state. Administration and the Board of Education continually strive to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, even under difficult circumstances, and we are extremely proud to be recognized for the fiscal condition of our District.
This annual ranking helps the ISBE gauge the financial condition of the state's school districts, using financial reports from Fiscal Year 2012. District 57 received the designation of "Fiscal Recognition," which means little or no review or involvement by the ISBE is required. We had a nearly perfect score of 3.99 (to be in this top category, districts must score 3.54 to 4).
Many Illinois school districts dropped out of the highest category this year, primarily due to decreased local revenues and significant cuts to the state education budget. These problems plague all Illinois districts, including District 57. But we always work to spend our limited resources as smartly as possible, and, when necessary, we make difficult decisions about spending cuts. This is why our District continues to be recognized for fiscal strength.
It's important to note that in addition to earning "Fiscal Recognition," District 57 has maintained high student performance, with test scores that rank among the best in the state and ahead of comparable neighboring school districts. We are fortunate to have staff members who do all they can to make sure their students are achieving to the highest of their abilities.
In spite of these accomplishments, the economic landscape for District 57 is fragile. Tax objections, unfunded mandates, the state's finances, Obamacare, and anticipated pension reform could move our financial ranking in the wrong direction. And we are not alone. All Illinois public schools are dealing with diminishing General State Aid. The ISBE says the picture is expected to grow bleaker in 2013, with more districts resorting to deficit spending. To help ease the burden, the ISBE is asking for an increase in education funding for 2014 which based on state financing is doubtful. In the meantime, we in District 57 will continue to do our part, by keeping an eye on the future, maintaining cost-containment measures and allocating resources in ways that are most beneficial to students.
As we try to do more with less, we are aware of the important role our community plays in helping ensure the success of our students. So I want to thank the District 57 Education Foundation for the successful Annual Auction Gala, which raised $50,000 that will benefit our schools. If you're looking for another opportunity to support our District, consider participating in Got2Run...for Education. The second annual race takes place Saturday, May 18, in Arlington Heights, with proceeds going toward wellness programs at the school of your choice. Last year, all four of our schools received funds from this very popular community event. Details and online registration can be found at http://www.g ot2run.org/.