School Finance 101

Illinois School Finance can be an extremely complex topic.  Understanding the basic components can be helpful in being informed about how your tax dollars are being used.  

The information included on this page is intended to assist in clarifying how school finance works and how Lisle 202 utilizes your tax dollars.

Finance overview graphic

Top 5 Finance Take-Aways

  1. School district funding in Illinois is structured so the majority of dollars come from local property taxes.
  2. Lisle 202 property tax rates are comparable with surrounding school districts.
  3. Lisle 202 has operated within a balanced budget for 15 consecutive years and is recognized for its financial strength by the Illinois State Board of Education and Moody's.
  4. Lisle 202 has smaller class sizes compared to surrounding districts and a smaller student population.  Both factors contribute to our per pupil spending being higher than other larger districts.
  5. Lisle 202 is building a new state-of-the-art elementary school without increasing the tax rate for the new building.


Learn About the Tax Levy

Click Here for School Finance Terms

Equalized Assessed Value (EAV)

The assessed value of the property multiplied by the state equalization multiplier.  This calculation determines the property value.  The tax rate is calculated based on the determined property value (less homestead exemptions if applicable).  Due to tax collection procedures, the EAV is for the year prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.

Evidence Based Funding Model

According to the Illinois State Board of Education website, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0465 or the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act on August 31, 2017. This law enacts evidence-based funding (EBF) and comprehensively changes the way that school districts receive the bulk of state funds. EBF sends more resources to Illinois’ most under-resourced students. EBF takes the necessary first steps toward ensuring all schools have the minimum resources they need to provide a safe, rigorous, and well-rounded learning environment for all students. EBF demonstrates new mindsets for understanding the relationship between equity, adequacy, and student outcomes.

General Administration Expenditures

Expenditures related to the activities concerned with establishing and administering policy in connection with operating the local education agency (LEA). Included are Board of Education Services, Executive Administration Services, (Office of the Superintendent, etc.), and Special Area Administration Services. (Excluding Capital Outlay expenditures reported separately.)

Instruction Expenditures

Expenditures related to activities related to the teaching students or the interaction between teachers and pupils. Teaching may be provided for students in a school classroom or in another location such as a home or hospital and may include other learning activities.  Also Included in this category are the activities of aides or assistants of any type which assist in the instruction process. (Excluding Capital Outlay expenditures reported separately.)

Operating Expense Per Pupil

The total operating cost of a school district (excepting summer school, adult education, bond principal retired, and capital expenditures) divided by the nine-month average daily attendance for the regular school term.

Operating Tax Rate

All school district property taxes extended for all purposes, except community college educational purposes for the payment of tuition under Section 6-1 of the Public College Act (110 ILCS 805/6-1), Bond and Interest, Summer School, Rent, Capital Improvements, and Vocational Education Building purposes. The operating tax rate shown for specific fiscal years represents the tax rate for the period 2 years prior to the fiscal year shown. For example, in FY01, the operating tax rate shown is for 1999.

Support Service Expenditures

Expenditures related to those services which provide administrative, technical, and logistical support to facilitate and enhance instruction. (Excluding General Administration activities and Capital Outlay expenditures reported separately.)

Total Tax Rate

A school district’s total tax rate consists of all funds levied, which may include: Education, Operations and Maintenance, Transportation, Working Cash, IMRF, Liability Insurance, Special Education, Social Security, Bonds and Interest, and Fire Safety Bonds.


Definitions from the Illinois State Board of Education Finance Terms.



About Lisle 202 Finance

School District Revenues

In Illinois, the majority of school district revenues come directly from local sources, specifically property taxes.  In Lisle 202, local sources account for approximately 89% of the District's revenue.

There are three main sources of revenue.  Those sources are:

  1. Local Property Taxes
  2. State Programs
  3. Federal Programs
Lisle 202 Revenue Sources



There are eight major funds in Lisle District 202's budget.

  • Educational
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Debt Services
  • Transportation
  • Municipal Retirement/Social Security
  • Capital Projects
  • Working Cash
  • Tort
Educational Fund

The largest fund is the Educational Fund.

The Educational Fund covers expenditures for instruction related items, but not limited to, student instruction and programs, teacher training and salaries.

Expenditures related to building improvements are not included in the Educational Fund.

Operations & Maintenance Fund

This fund supports maintenance, improvements, and repairs of the school buildings.



student spending graph.  $0.66 of every dollar goes toward the classrooms


Lisle 202 Expenditures


Property Taxes in Lisle

Lisle 202 is conscientious of the impact of taxes on individuals and businesses in the community. Annual increases have been consistent with the U.S. Consumer Price Index to cover the rising costs of expenditures.  The average annual increases have been 1.4%, or $60, for the average household in Lisle for the past five years.

Lisle 202 Historic Tax Levy Increases 2018


Property Tax Rate

Your property tax bill is divided into several parts such as the Village of Lisle, Lisle Library, Lisle Park District, etc.  One part of your total tax bill goes to the school district.

How does the tax rate work?

The cost of providing an education to students is allocated to the values of properties within Lisle District 202 and collected annually on June 1st and September 1st.

What is the Lisle 202 tax rate?

The Lisle 202 tax rate is about $5.00 per $100.  

How does the Lisle 202 tax rate compare to surrounding districts?

The Lisle 202 tax rate is comparable to neighboring school districts.

DuPage County Surrounding School District Tax Rate Comparison - 2017

Tax Rate School District
$6.45 Woodridge Elementary District 68 & Downers Grove HS District 99
$5.50 Indian Prairie District 204
$5.00 Naperville District 203
$5.00 Lisle District 202
$5.00 Wheaton-Warrenville District 200
$4.70 Westmont District 201
$3.95 Downers Grove Elementary District 58 & Downers Grove HS District 99

per $100 of property's assessed value

Finance FAQ

I heard Lisle 202's fund balances are high. Why is that?

In 2002, a facilities study was completed that identified a number of structural and educational needs at the elementary buildings.  At that time, more significant needs were identified at the high school which led to the renovation that created the Lisle High School we have today.

Over the past decade, Lisle District 202 has been addressing and anticipating costly repairs at the elementary school buildings.  As a result of fiscally responsible practices, the District has been able to set aside a portion of its operating funds each year to help address the impending facility needs. Based on cost evaluations and community feedback, these funds will be better utilized for one new school building instead of repairing the two old buildings currently being used as elementary schools in Lisle  202.

Once the new Lisle Elementary School is completed, the School District's fund balances will decrease significantly.  At that point, fund balances will be maintained to be approximately 40% of operating expenditures.


Why is Lisle 202's per student expenditure so high?

The per student expenditure is determined by dividing the total cost for the educational expenditures by the total number of students.  

Because we have fewer students than surrounding school districts, and still provide a wide variety of educational opportunities and additional activities, the cost "per student" is higher.

A simple illustration is, imagine it costs $50 for a movie pass.  If you have five people in your family, the cost per person is $10.  If you have four people in your family, the cost per person is about $12.  If you have two people in your family, the cost per person is $25 for the same pass.  As you can see, the fewer people in your family, the more the "per person" rate is. 

The same concept applies to Lisle District 202.  We have many of the same student opportunities as larger surrounding districts:  AP courses, robust course selection and electives, clubs, sports, and more.  Because we have fewer students, it costs more "per student" to provide the same opportunities.  

Will my taxes increase because of the new Lisle Elementary School?

No.  The portion of your tax bill allocated to the bonds used for school district facilities will not increase.

Approximately 5% of the school district's portion of your tax bill is currently used to repay outstanding debt of the school district. 

Similar to getting a new mortgage after your current mortgage is paid off, a new bond (or loan) will be utilized for the construction of the new elementary school building. After the old bonds are paid off, the 5% of your tax bill used to repay the old bonds will be used to repay the new bonds and will not increase in the future. Also, because of its strong financial ratings and the favorable interest rate environment, Lisle School District hopes to take advantage of historically low borrowing costs.

How are my tax dollars to the School District spent?

The majority of funds, 66 cents of every dollar,  are spent on what's most important, services and materials that directly impact student learning in the classroom.

A large amount of dollars are also spent on providing an array of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities such as fine arts, sports, and the many clubs offered to students.

Other funds are spent on food service, transportation, operations and administrative services, and maintaining and improving District facilities.  For example, repairing roofs and HVAC (heating and cooling) systems, repairing and seal-coating parking lots, and soon we will be replacing the aging parking lot at the High School to ensure student safety.