I wrote a $1,100 check last week to school District 214 to register my two students for the upcoming school year. I thought to myself, "District 214 must really be hurting to charge me $550 per student for public education." I decided to look it up.
I went to the county treasurer's website and downloaded the district's financials for the year ending June 30, 2011. Imagine my surprise to see that District 214 has $157 million in cash and short term investments. The district has over one year of expenses in current assets.
I then decided to check out District 25 where my kids attended grammar school. District 25 has over $70 million in cash. They publish several ratios in their report, one of which is "Days Cash on Hand." The district admits it has 443 days of expenditures in the bank. I understand saving for a rainy day, but our school districts must see a monsoon in the forecast.