The Illinois State Board of Education has issued an ‘Early Warning’ for Harlem School District 122 after reviewing its 2016 financial reports. It was the only Stateline-area school district to receive the cautionary designation.
The school district was given an overall financial score of 2.75 on a scale of 4, by far the lowest score of any district which serves students in Winnebago County. The next lowest score of those districts was Rockford School District 205, which received a 3.60, which while not perfect is considered to be a solid score. By comparison in Winnebago County, the Kinnikinnick, Shirland and Winnebago School Districts all received perfect scores of 4.0.
The profiles are designed to provide districts with an outside and independent anaysis of their financial integrity. In Harlem’s case, the ISBE report found that the district has fallen behind when it comes to its ‘Fund Balance to Revenue Ratio’ and its ‘Expenditures to Revenue Ratio’. While the calculations are somewhat complex, the information indicates that the Harlem School District’s financial situation is deteriorating, as it received an overall score or 3.10 in 2015.
Other school districts in the Northern Illinois Stateline area, which includes Boone, Stephenson, Ogle, Jo Daviess, Lee, Carroll and DeKalb Counties, all received scores higher than the 3.0 mark. The Freeport School District improved its financial situation from an ‘Early Warning’ designation in 2015, improving its overall financial score from 3.0 to 3.35 in 2016.