Saturday, April 1, 2017

Treasurer partners with IASB
to return unclaimed school cash

Some school districts have over $5,000 in unclaimed cash.
Some Illinois school districts have hundreds or even thousands of dollars waiting for them at the state treasurer’s office, which now is partnering with IASB to notify school districts and return unclaimed funds.

Unclaimed money belonging to districts might be a vendor payment filled out to the wrong name, such as to the school board of a named town, or it could be a refund from a rental deposit, or a lost bank account, or one of many other types of cash that has simply been misdirected or forgotten. It is the job of State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs to hold on to all these unclaimed funds and try to reunite them with their owners.

“We safeguard about $2 billion,” Frerichs said. “That includes more than 14 million properties. And it’s my job to get that money into the hands of Illinois residents.”

The treasurer’s office becomes the custodian of unclaimed property after private entities such as banks try for at least five years to locate the owner. Much of the money has been left behind or forgotten in a bank account. Some school districts could even have rightful ownership of cash in other states if they’ve done business there and somehow lost connections.

“Recently, we’ve notified several school districts that had more than $5,000 in unclaimed funds,” Frerichs said. “And we are encouraging all schools to check the I-CASH website to see if there are funds in the name of your district or individual schools.

“Please let your board and staff know that they too might have funds to claim. One in four Illinoisans discover property to claim through the Treasurer’s I-Cash program; with an average payout of $2900, they could be in for a big surprise,” he said.

For additional information on promoting I-CASH through your schools to staff and parents, or if you have questions about claiming property for your school, contact Dave Clarkin, Deputy Chief-of-Staff,

ISBE Briefs

School facility flooding issues
If your school district has experienced problems with facilities due to recent flooding in the northern portion of Illinois, the State Board of Education (ISBE) may be able to provide help. Technical assistance is available on a case-by-case basis for districts that have encountered problems. School representatives are urged to contact Dan Johnson, school business services, at 217/785-8779 or email him at

Back-to-school webinar planned
State Superintendent Tony Smith has invited school administrators to participate in a back-to-school webinar on Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. Smith will discuss updates to the Every Student Succeeds Act, school funding issues, and state assessments. He also will allot time for a question-and-answer segment. Click here to register for the webinar.

GATA grants have four-step process
School districts will need to complete four steps to be qualified to apply for Fiscal Year 2018 GATA grants. The first step is entirely new for this year’s applications. It includes an authentication process in which an email address is requested in creating an account via the state’s authentication portal. Districts seeking grant funds will also need to be marked as pre-qualified. The GATA website includes a number of resources to assist with the application process. A detailed breakdown of the four are available in the July 25 State Superintendent’s Weekly Message.