School Finance Book Now in Eighth Edition

November 1, 2018


SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Association of School Boards has published an updated edition of its popular book, Essentials of Illinois School Finance, helping school officials and those with budgeting responsibilities understand the complex issues involved in school finance.

This Eighth Edition retains and updates information on the basic principles and operations of Illinois school financial management as of July 2018. It also describes the rationale for and the workings of the state’s new Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula and the prospects it brings for improvement in the equity and adequacy of Illinois school funding.

Subtitled “A Guide to Techniques, Issues, and Resources,” the book was originally designed as a training manual for school business managers and budget makers. While it still serves that role, the book also serves as a reference tool for school board members in understanding the responsibilities of the school board in maintaining the fiscal health of the district.

The author, James B. Fritts, is a retired public school business official who also has taught school finance to administrators and aspiring administrators at Loyola University, Chicago, and currently teaches at Northeastern Illinois University. In addition to his own experiences and those of numerous students and colleagues, Fritts calls on a wide array of sources with expertise in state funding, property tax administration, and virtually all aspects of school business management.

In Part 1, the author presents key information about the securing, budgeting, and managing of revenue. Two chapters are dedicated to understanding the property tax cycle and how to determine a district’s property tax revenue. The state’s new EBF formula and how a district’s EBF aid is calculated is explained in Chapter 6, along with a new glossary of state aid and EBF terminology.

Part 2 addresses the budgeting and managing of expenditures and describes ways to assess a district’s overall financial health.

A new Part 3 describes the school board’s financial responsibilities and how the board can fulfill its leadership responsibilities for the school district’s financial health. It includes a chapter on the role of school board financial policy and a calendar of board financial actions.

An appendix identifies resources that enable the reader to locate additional information.

This book is essential for school administrators, school board members, university educational administration students, and any organization that works with or is impacted by public school finances. It is considered the “primer” for newly-elected or appointed school board members.

Essentials of Illinois School Finance is available to purchase from the IASB Online Bookstore at Price is $38 ($28 for IASB members) plus $7 per order for shipping. For additional ordering information, contact IASB publications by dialing ext. 1108 at either 217/528-9688 or 630/629-3776.

The IASB Online Bookstore offers a variety of books published by the Association and other publishers, to assist school leaders and to help school boards carry out their responsibilities.

For additional information, contact the IASB communications department at 217/528-9688, ext. 1156.