New Edition of Illinois School Finance Book Includes Pandemic Response

  • Date Posted
    August 4, 2021
  • Category

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 Ninth Edition retains and updates information on the basic principles and operations of Illinois school financial management as of January 2021. In this new edition, the author discusses the potential short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenue sources and managing costs. Boards of education play an important role in the financial oversight of how schools distribute new sources of relief funds.
Subtitled “A Guide to Techniques, Issues, and Resources,” the book serves as a reference tool for school administrators, school board members, university educational administration students, and any organization that works with or is impacted by public school finances. Details in the book will help board members understand what is involved in the financial management work of administrative staff and their responsibility as a member of the governing board.
Part 1 of the book deals with revenue – where schools get it, how they maximize it, protect it, and plan for it. Two chapters discuss the property tax cycle and how to determine a district’s property tax revenue. How a district’s Evidence-Based Funding aid is calculated is explained, along with a glossary of state aid and EBF terminology.
Part 2 addresses expenditures – how schools budget and minimize expenses. Content covers projecting school enrollments and managing non-instructional costs, including the impact of COVID-19 on operational expenses.
Part 3 describes the responsibilities of the school board in maintaining the fiscal health of the district. It includes an annual calendar of required actions by the board on the budget, tax levy, annual financial report, and other matters.
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 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.
Essentials of Illinois School Finance is available to purchase from the IASB Online Bookstore at The price is $42 ($32 for IASB members) plus $7 per order for shipping. For more ordering information, contact IASB at either (217) 528-9688 or (630) 629-3776.