Alt Title

Developing school level financial reporting guidelines for Illinois public school districts

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Johnson, Donald R., 1941-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Schools--Illinois--Accounting; Education--Illinois--Finance--Planning


The need for school-level financial reporting accelerated during the 1990s as public-school stakeholders continually expressed concern over the manner in which school districts allocated resources. District-level fiscal data were insufficient in addressing such issues as equity, adequacy, and student achievement. School-level fiscal reporting provides educational decision makers with a clearer view of a school's operation and resource allocation. The purpose of this study was to develop school-level financial guidelines for Illinois public school districts by analyzing fiscal reporting documents from states currently collecting school-level data. The qualitative research method was used for this study. Through document analysis design, the study identified current reporting practices from states collecting school-level fiscal data. The study explored the implementation of school-level reporting in Illinois by examining current data collection methods, the need to collect additional data, and whether increased district resources would be necessary to collect and maintain the data. Also, the benefits of school-level fiscal reporting for Illinois public school stakeholders were discussed. The study revealed that 15 states currently require school-level fiscal reporting. Key elements of school-site reporting included the need to redesign the account code structure and collect specific staff and student nonfiscal data. A clear focus on how the data are to be used would determine the type of fiscal information to be collected and encourage acceptance of the new reporting model by school-district personnel. School-level fiscal reporting gives public-school officials and policymakers more and better information to use when evaluating instructional programs and services for students. This study recommends that Illinois public school districts collect fiscal data at the school site for the purpose of reporting costs associated with the instruction of students. System-wide expenses are to remain as district-level costs and reported as such. As a result of this study, a new account code structure for school-level fiscal reporting in Illinois was developed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [129]-138)


vii, 148 pages




Northern Illinois University

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