Taxpayers will soon have greater access to information regarding their local school districts’ administrative costs thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that was recently signed into law.
SB 3236, now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0807, requires the school report cards published annually by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to now include the most current data collected relative to a school district’s administrative costs. “School district taxes comprise the largest portion of every property owner’s tax bill, and they deserve full transparency so they can see how their money is being spent,” said Olsen. “School districts have this information, so it only makes sense that it would be made easily accessible to taxpayers.”
According to Olsen, current law requires ISBE to prepare by October 31 of each year a school district report card for each of the state’s public school districts. Data must include student and workforce demographics, financial and curriculum information and other data such as average class size, a breakdown of students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds, percentage of low-income, special education and limited English proficiency students, operating expenditures, per-pupil state pension contributions and various other data. Beginning with the October 2018 report cards, administrative costs will also be included.
SB 3236 received unanimous support in the House and Senate earlier this year.