Rockford Schools on Financial Watch List

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

More than one third of Illinois school districts are facing significant financial problems, including Rockford as they were placed on the state financial watch list Wednesday.

What it means is that the district must get their finances under control now or face having the state come in to do it for them later, while Rockford isn't alone on this list, it shows the financial difficulties this district is having.

The Rockford School District is one of more than 100 districts across the state being tagged as financially troubled, as rising costs are not being met with additional tax revenues. They will now be required to have their financial records reviewed by the state, the news is bad for Rockford but not surprising.

The state's financial profile of Rockford schools shows a heavy amount of long term debt and short-term borrowing compared with an evaporating revenue stream. Superintendent Alan Brown told the state that protests on tax settlements is the reason for the districts financial condition. Others disagree.

But that could be difficult as the Rockford School District is looking to borrow $30 million next month just to be able to meet payroll. The state says that if Rockford doesn't get its finances under control the district could be on the brink of bankruptcy.

Schools all over the state, including districts in Boone, Stephenson, and Ogle counties are recognized by the state as having financial problems, this data was taken from last year’s figures and is expected to paint a worse picture next year, getting spending under control is the only way to get out of this the state says.

You can check to see if your school is financially in trouble at www.isbe.state.il.us/


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