A preliminary analysis of school districts in Illinois shows that their financial conditions have improved over the most recent recorded year, partly because of spending reductions and increases in state local aid.
That report, compiled by the state board of education and officially released last week, shows that 45 percent of the state’s 890 or so districts had operating deficits in fiscal 2004, compared with the 77 percent that were operating in the red the previous fiscal year.
State officials attribute the improved financial health of districts to an 8 percent boost in state funding; an 8 percent increase in local revenues; and district-level cuts, mostly in spending on buildings, equipment, and classroom supplies and materials.
The analysis does not include the 432,000-student Chicago school system because it had a later deadline for submitting its financial data to the state, state board spokeswoman Becky Watts said.
A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2005 edition of Education Week