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From the Superintendent’s Desk

From The Desk of the Superintendent:

Understanding Timing and Use of Early Tax Money


One of the biggest reasons school districts experience a financial crisis is because of a common misunderstanding of how and when schools are funded.  A school district’s fiscal year ends on June 30th.   The books are closed and there is an annual audit.  We start over again on July 1 with a new fiscal year.  In Sangamon County, the county clerk’s office sometimes is able to distribute a large portion of next year’s revenue in May and June of the current year, before the current fiscal year is closed.   This funding cycle and the early tax money gives the perception that fund balances are healthier than they really are. 


Many school districts and community members look at ending fund balances this time of year in isolation of the annual funding cycle and adopt the misunderstanding that this money is an overage and is available to be spent.  As a result of this misperception, districts often commit early tax money to expenditures in the wrong fiscal year or they may feel that fund balances are healthier than they really are and purchase beyond their true capacity.  With a limited understanding of the funding cycle, the following April, May and June, school districts can find themselves short of money.  This results in a created financial crisis and ultimately leads to debt and higher property tax rates.


As an example, a lack of understanding of early tax money and the funding cycle would be equivalent to putting all your Christmas gifts on a credit card in November and December with no plan to pay for them come January and February. 


Currently, it takes roughly $1.8 million a month to run the Auburn School District, yet we have the second lowest tax rate in Sangamon County. 

                Sangamon County School Tax Rates:

                Pawnee                       3.9582

                Auburn                       4.0362

                Tri City                      4.1988

                Rochester                   4.5340

                New Berlin                 4.5371

                Williamsville              4.5469

                Chatham                     4.6119

                Riverton                     4.6428

                Pleasant Plains           5.1273

                Springfield                  5.7559


Please contact me if you have questions regarding school finances or funding.


Darren J. Root, EdD


Auburn CUSD 10

(217) 438-6164



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