Maintaining the fiscal health of a school district and acting responsibly with taxpayer dollars are core responsibilities for school officials. The laws governing school finance in Illinois affect different school districts in different ways. Often, the intricacies and mechanisms of Illinois school funding laws and regulations can be confusing and unclear. IASB has compiled a variety of resources to assist school board members with the various areas of school funding and to provide a general understanding of school finance as it applies to Illinois districts.

Position Statements — Adopted by the IASB Delegate Assembly. Includes positions on state, local, and federal funding for schools.

Finance election results — IASB maintains a database of school finance election results for bond issues (working cash and building bonds), school tax rate propositions, and county school facilities sales tax outcomes.

Answers to FAQs Regarding Referendum Activities Conducted by School Officials (pdf)(Opens in a new window) — The Illinois Council of School Attorneys (ICSA) publishes this guidance as part of its continuing effort to provide assistance to school leaders.

Where Does the Lottery Money Go? (pdf)(Opens in a new window) — Presents questions and answers about the Illinois lottery and its very limited impact on public school funding.

Understanding School Finance (pdf)(Opens in a new window) —  A brief look at where Illinois schools get their money and where they spend it.


Key Budget Dates for Districts


  • September 30 – Final budget must be adopted by the board of education
    • Prior to voting on the final budget a budget hearing must be held (this can take place on the same day as the board votes to adopt the budget).
  • 30 days prior to adopting a budget, the school board must post a tentative budget for public display.
    • Notice for public display and the date, time, and place of the budget hearing must be published in a local newspaper of general circulation.
  • Immediately after adoption, the finalized budget should be posted on the district website.
  • Within 30 days after adoption, the approved budget needs to be filed electronically with the Illinois State Board of Education, filed with the county clerk, and it is advised to send a copy to the Regional Office of Education and the district auditor.
*Information and image attributed to IASA and Diane Robertson, IASA Field Services Director.

Books on School Finance