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updated: 9/6/2011 4:32 PM

Round Lake schools forming finance committee

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Round Lake Area Unit District 116 plans to include community members on an advisory finance committee set to launch next month.

Bill Johnston, District 116's assistant superintendent of business and operations, said the advisory committee is being pursued now that the state of Illinois no longer is monitoring finances.

"It's a way to keep the community involved and it's a way to keep the community informed," Johnston said Tuesday.

District 116 was near collapse because of poor finances when a special state authority took over in 2002. Constance Collins was hired as superintendent before the 2010-11 school year as part of a return to local control after finances were deemed stable.

Johnston said District 116's advisory finance committee is expected to start its work next month. He said the first order of business will be for members to learn about District 116's revenue streams and how money is spent there.

At least three district residents have submitted applications to serve on the advisory panel. Officials solicited candidates who have a finance background and are willing to share their expertise to benefit District 116.

District 116 board President Nanci Radford and committee chairmen will review the applicants and select the community volunteers. Johnston said those volunteers will join a committee with two board members, administrators and other employees.

Johnston said the community volunteers should be prepared to spend up to four hours a month on finance committee issues.

Other Lake County districts have advisory finance committees that study issues and make recommendations to elected school board members. Among them is Grayslake Elementary District 46.