Reminder: Budget and Financial Information Website Posting

As school boards adopt their budgets for the 2022-23 school year, school officials should be mindful that State School Aid Act Section 18 mandates a deadline for posting the school’s annual budget and required financial information. Within 15 days after a school board adopts its annual operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the school must post or provide a link to the budget on its or its ISD’s website homepage.

Within the same timeframe, schools must also post a summary of expenditures for the most recent fiscal year for which they are available. This summary of expenditures must be provided in two “visual displays.”

The first display is a chart that breaks down personnel expenses into the following categories: (1) salaries and wages; (2) employee benefit costs (including, but not limited to, medical, dental, vision, life, disability, and long-term care benefits); (3) employee retirement benefit costs; and (4) all other personnel costs. The State School Aid Act also requires each school to report on its website the compensation package for the superintendent and any other employee whose salary exceeds $100,000. This information must include the total salary and a description of each fringe benefit provided.

The second display is a chart that breaks down all expenses into the following categories: (1) instruction; (2) support services; (3) business and administration; and (4) operations and maintenance. Schools also must separately report the annual amount spent on association dues and lobbying or lobbying services, as well as information related to school credit cards and costs incurred for out-of-state travel. Schools subject to a deficit elimination or enhanced deficit elimination plan must post a copy of the plan.

The State School Aid Act also requires a school, including an ISD, to post the following documents on its website:

  • the current collective bargaining agreement for each bargaining unit;
  • each health care benefits plan (including, but not limited to, medical, dental, vision, disability, long-term care, and any other type of health care benefits) offered to each bargaining unit or employee;
  • the audit report for the most recent fiscal year;
  • the required bids when establishing a medical benefit plan pursuant to the Public Employees Health Benefits Act;
  • the school’s policy governing procurement of supplies, materials, and equipment;
  • the school’s policy on reimbursable expenses; and
  • either the school’s accounts payable check register for the most recent school fiscal year or a statement of the total amount of expenses incurred by board members or school employ­ees that were reimbursed during the most recent school fiscal year.

Failing to post budgets and other related transpar­ency information on the school website is a State School Aid Act violation which may result in a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,500, or both. The Act also provides for state aid deductions for noncompliance.

ISDs must post by December 31 of each year the annual website report required by Revised School Code Section 620. The annual website report generally contains information about the ISD’s operations and school services, general budget information, employee compensation, certain contract reporting require-ments, and information about other expenditures including travel, public relations, and lobbying expenses.