FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Board authorizes School Finance Authority for
Round Lake School District 116
State Superintendent Names Members
petition of the Round Lake School District 116 Financial Oversight
Panel to create a School Finance Authority for the district
was granted today by the State Board of Education.
Panel voted unanimously in June to petition the State Board
to authorize the School Finance Authority. The school district
has been plagued with severe financial problems for several
years and the State Board authorized the School Finance Authority
after determining that the petition is “in the best
interests of the educational and financial interests of the
116 was placed on the state’s Financial Watch List and
as a result of their deteriorated finances, the State Board
certified the district as “In Financial Difficulty”
on April 16, 1992. Required financial plans were developed
but failed to stop the flow of red ink. The District faced
a short-term debt of $10.5 million and long-term debt of $37
million in April of 2000 when the district asked the State
Board to create a Financial Oversight Panel to improve its
financial condition and to make the district eligible for
a state emergency loan and grant.
secured the emergency financial assistance of a $1.4 million
grant from the State and instituted several cost-cutting measures
that produced the first balanced budget for the district in
over ten years. Still, the district faced huge long-term debts
that could not be met within the existing structure. The Panel
considered several options for assuring long-term viability
for the district and held several public hearings to gather
input on the financial and organizational options for the
district. The Panel concluded that a School Finance Authority,
similar to one created by the legislature in 1980 to stabilize
the Chicago Public School District’s finances, held
the most promise for strengthening the education opportunities
for students and stabilizing district finances.
General Assembly passed legislation last spring authorizing
the creation of a School Finance Authority with the approval
of the State Board of Education. Governor George Ryan signed
the legislation into law in June.
reviewing the reasoned arguments in the petition, we have
concluded that the Panel’s recommendation is the best
way to stabilize district finances and to improve educational
opportunities for the students it serves,” said State
Board General Counsel Respicio Vazquez who was serving as
State Superintendent when the petition was submitted.
Finance Authority will have the power to appoint the top management
of the district, including a Chief Executive Officer, a Chief
Educational Officer to replace the position of Superintendent
when the current Superintendent’s contract expires,
and a Chief Fiscal Officer replacing the position of School
Business Official. In addition the SFA is empowered to negotiate
collective bargaining agreements, to issue debt within specified
limits and to establish tax rates necessary to pay off the
debt. The Authority would be removed from some of the limitations
of tax caps.
Schiller Appoints Members
the legislation, the State Superintendent is required to appoint
five members of the School Finance Authority, two of whom
must be residents of the district. State Superintendent of
Education Robert E. Schiller announced those appointments
following Board action authorizing the SFA.
am pleased to announce that we have secured the assistance
of five highly qualified individuals to accept this challenging
assignment,” said State Superintendent of Education
Robert E. Schiller in announcing the appointments.
to serve on the Round Lake Area Schools District 116 School
P. Schockmel, an educational consultant from
Mundelein, was designated by the State Superintendent
to be the Authority Chair and serve a three-year term.
Schockmel has served several school districts as business
manager, superintendent, principal, teacher and finance
consultant. From 1973 to 1978, he was Assistant Superintendent
for Business Affairs for Round Lake School District 116.
R. “Bud” Hoose of Round Lake Beach
is Program Manager for PeopleSoft, a human resource management
software development company. He is responsible for managing
project teams and budgets for several simultaneous programs
of the company. Hoose will also serve a three-year term.
M. “Alex” Solla of Round Lake Beach
was appointed to a two-year term. Solla is Human Resources
Director for two Baxter Healthcare manufacturing plants.
E. Tomusiak of Fox Lake will serve a three-year
term. She is the Executive Director of the Mano a Mano
Family Resource Center and a former bilingual teacher
in District 116 and a former member of the Lake County
Area Planning Council.
Lingel of Rockford recently retired as the Assistant
Superintendent for Business and Auxiliary Services for
School District 15 in Palatine. He is a former director
of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials
and previously served several school districts in the
business office and as a teacher. Lingel’s term
will be two years.