School District Finances

The financial environment of District 126, like others, is constantly changing. Under the good stewardship of an experienced and dedicated Board of Education, the District has learned how to work smarter, harder, and leaner and yet maintain and/or expand programs and services to children.

Under the Illinois system of funding for public education, property owners within District 126 are the primary source of revenue, contributing 84% of the total (the State share is 12% and the federal share is 4%).

The local share has actually decreased in recent years as a result of aggressive grant and reimbursement strategies that have increased state and federal revenues.

Ours is an economically vibrant community with diverse residential, industrial and commercial properties. As a result of a strong tax base, property owners enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in the area. The total rate ranks 2nd lowest of the 26 rates applicable in Worth Township.

The District has exercised creative financing and fiscal restraint in response to increasing pressures. Judicious borrowing and cost containment, but never at the expense of children, have been carefully employed. For example, bonding authority remains at 75% of ceilings (meaning only 25% of the ability to borrow has been utilized); administrative expenditures rank 35th lowest of the 385 elementary districts in Illinois; and the last time voters were asked to approve a rate increase occurred 28 years ago.

The challenge will become even greater in the years immediately ahead. The cumulative impact of tax caps is taking its toll. State support for public education in Illinois ranks 48th lowest among the states and the economic downturn will have an even greater impact. Increases in expenditures inevitably outpace increases in revenues. An increasingly complex society demands more from schools, and we must find a way to meet all the needs of all the children. With the continued support of our community, District 126 will rise to the challenges of the future.