Education Sessions

Plan now how you will spend your time at the Conference.

Start learning and networking on Wednesday.
Find exhibit hours, events and new microlearning opportunities! 
Learn about discounted hotel rates while attending the Conference.

Thursday Sessions

8:00am - 9:00am

The Impact of Economic Factors on Budgeting & Financial Planning

In today's volatile environment market dynamics such as inflation, Federal funds, tax policy and other economic factors play an important role in the district's budgeting process. Learn how these factors impact decisions when financial forecasting out several years.

Cash Flow Analysis & Innovative Investment Options

An introduction to cash flow management and different investment options in order to maximize interest income.

Food Service Resource Management

Resource Management encompasses four areas: Maintenance of Nonprofit School Foodservice Account, Paid Lunch Equity, Revenue from Non-program Foods, and Indirect Cost. Learn what each area is responsible for and how you can better utilize these resources.

Workers Compensation & Payroll Issues

Your employee gets hurt, what do you do? Learn to navigate the ins and outs of workers compensation for Illinois schools and what you need to do to avoid being sued.

What’s Happening to Our TRS Pension?

Hear an update from TRS about the latest pension reform proposals and how they will affect your district.

RFP/RFQs for an Architect, Construction Manager & Performance Contractor

The Planning and Construction PDC has created model RFP/RFQs. These documents are a tool for school districts to use during their selection processes. Hear from the authors of these documents and learn best practices for how to use them.

Illinois ASBO Facilities Programs

Come join your peers in mapping the path for future professional development in facilities operations. Hear an outline of the current offerings and participate in a live survey tell us what topics you want in the future! If you have a smart phone, tablet or other method of connecting to the internet during our meeting you will be able to enter your thoughts on future professional development and see the results in real time. This is everyone's opportunity to share their ideas, so don't miss your opportunity to help map our future.

Vendor Management: From Approval to Final Payment

How to engage and collaborate with vendors to ensure dual accountability with results in mutual accountability.

Data Security: Is This Email Legit?

Tips to share with your staff on protecting yourself and your district's data from email phishing attempts.

9:10am - 10:10am

Student Activity Fund Accounting & Other GASB Updates

Lions and tigers and GASB, oh my! Important updates on upcoming GASB impact for activity funds and leases.

How to Communicate Your Budget & Financial Forecast to Stakeholders

Learn how to effectively communicate your financial forecasting and budget to stakeholders to help them look beyond current realities and anticipate what is to come.

Bond Sales: Competitive, Negotiated & Private Placement

Differentiate between the various methods of bringing municipal bonds to market and the mechanics and legal requirements of each.

Basics of School Finance: Revenues

Learn about local revenue, the property tax cycle and the ins and outs of the tax levy. Plus, hear an overview of the Evidence-Based Funding Formula and federal grants.

Understanding Appraisals & Building Valuations

Knowing your values is prudent risk management which saves the district money and aggravation and that equals a happy community.

Finding Solutions to Difficult Legislation

Are some of the recently enacted Illinois laws giving you a headache? Come discuss these laws, consider different actions your district might take and hear from your peers how they are addressing challenges in their own districts.

Connecting Student Performance with Facility Performance

Learning spaces matter. Find out how Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) focused design contributes to a more sustainable, healthy and productive school environment. Presenters will review aspects of the learning environment that promote student well-being while reducing operational costs through sustainable choices in materials and systems.

Collaboration for an Effective RFP

Learn a unique approach to engaging stakeholders across the organization and outside of the business office.

Cybersecurity: Are Your Printers Secured?

Just when you thought you were safe, now you have to think of securing your printers from hackers! Hear best practices from technology professionals.

10:20am - 11:20am

Single Audits: Compliance Requirements & Best Practices

Discuss best practices to help ensure compliance and smooth audits and cover the basic compliance requirements applicable to many school district grant programs.

How Would You Handle That?

An open-ended discussion about how attendees would handle different scenarios directly affecting budgeting and long-term financial planning.

Basics of School Finance: Expenditures

Review business office operations and the business administrator's role in managing cash, meeting budgeting responsibilities, purchasing, state financial reporting and overseeing the expenditure process – including ESSA requirements.

The Bermuda Triangle of Leaves: ADA, FMLA & Workers Compensation

Learn about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), ADA and workers compensation and discover how to successfully
navigate these policies and avoid the top mistakes and missteps that can occur.

Millennial Leadership

Gain insights on bridging generational gaps for, or with, Millennials in the district.

Transgender Issues: Practical Advice for Implementing What the Courts have Decreed

You have a transgendered student in your district, now what? Learn first-hand from a superintendent who has guided her district through policy changes and implementation and an attorney who advises districts what the laws require.

Update from the Professional Review Panel on EBF Implementation

Get the latest updates on Illinois’ Evidenced-Based Funding (EBF) formula from members of the Professional Review Panel (PRP). Panel members will provide updates on their work to study and review the implementation and evaluate the effectiveness of the EBF model.

Custodial Maintenance Staffing Crisis

Do you have difficulties with recruiting, hiring and retaining facility department employees? Make sure your district stays ahead of the game. Learn current industry trends and data of staffing levels, salaries, payroll, benefits and how this affects the facility department.

Building Your Brand

Learn effective ways to build your district's brand from members of INSPRA.

11:30am - 12:30pm

Strategic Planning 101

Is your district engaging in or contemplating strategic planning? Join us for a discussion about strategic planning and how it impacts school finance. Learn what strategic planning is, how it works, the role finances play in a strategic plan and how financial planning supports achieving the strategic plan.

New Investment Option: Corporate Notes

The Illinois Public Fund Investment Act (30 ILCS 235) was amended in August of 2018 when the Governor signed into law Public Act 100-0752. The law expands the term length to invest in corporate obligations from 270 days to 3 years. Hear the pros and cons of investing in corporate obligations in order to earn more interest income.

Maximizing Your Medicaid Revenue

The U.S. Government has funds your district is entitled to access. Learn how to stay compliant and prepared for an audit, maximize your district’s Medicaid revenue and educate your staff in best compliance practices.

School Security: How to Involve Students

Students are ahead of us in technology and have a better pulse of what’s really going on when it comes to safety and security. Learn how to involve them appropriately in making your learning environment safer. From inclusion in safety planning to enlisting assistance with social media, this workshop will present practical ways to garner valuable student contributions.

New Policies You Need but Might Not Know It

Carbon monoxide, suicide prevention, medical marijuana, lunch shaming; Does your school district have policies in place to address these and a number of other issues? Learn best practices from two experienced and highly regarded school law attorneys.

Property Tax Legal Developments: Legislation & Litigation

Two school finance attorneys will review the legislative session's proposals for property tax reform legislation and ongoing litigation regarding bonds, TIFs, hospitals and fund management.

Beyond ADA Requirements: Constructing for Students with Disabilities

Knowing the requirements for ADA codes during design and construction is one thing. Knowing the importance of the needs of students with disabilities is another. Discover what you should include in the design and construction of these highly overlooked spaces.

Foolproof Contracts that Abide by State Laws

How to ensure your business office contracts and procedures are protecting your district's best interest while complying with statutory regulations.

Leading Through Change in Your District

Learn effective communication strategies to use when your district is going through periods of change.

Friday Sessions

8:00am — 9:00am

Year-End Spending When Approaching a Budget Surplus/Deficit

"Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth." Learn how several districts make year-end spending decisions and adjust budgets to plan for the unexpected.

Bond Continuing Disclosure Amendments & EMMA Tutorial

Learn the newest requirements for continuing disclosure on new bond issuances as well as how to navigate the EMMA website for valuable information, plus get an update on new GASB rules.

Wash Away Your Troubles...or at Least Your Student Loans!

The weight of student loan debt can cause serious financial and emotional stress. Learn about student loan forgiveness programs available to public sector employees, tips for successfully navigating the process and how to educate your employees.


Have a political horror story to share? Want to hear one? Learn how to navigate political waters while doing what is best for students and your community.

3% & the Governor’s Salary Cap Penalties: Now What Do We Do?

Get ideas and strategies to avoid penalties due to the three percent and Governor's salary cap legislation.

State Legislative Update

Hear from experienced Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance lobbyists as they discuss legislation that is currently being considered in Springfield and its potential impact on Illinois school districts.

Navigating Background Checks in Today’s Environment

Background checks can be a hurdle when hiring and subcontracting. Learn how to design and implement good background check practices.

Ethical Dilemmas & Decisions in Purchasing

This interactive session will introduce participants to vendor relations and transparency, activity accounts, p-Card, audits and reconciliation.

Social Media Guidelines

Establishing parameters around social media for your district can be challenging. Learn best practices for how to effectively build social media guidelines from members of INSPRA.

10:30am — 11:30am

12 Months of Fun: A Timeline to an Approved Budget  

Hear a panel of representatives from a variety of school districts present their budget calendars and their processes for getting to an approved budget.

Addressing IDEA Procedural Changes

An update from the state Board of Education on the new IDEA procedural changes and how they may impact your district.

Emerging Technology in Food Service

Learn how to grow participation, increase revenue and streamline operating costs in your food service operation through the implementation of cost effective technology solutions that are emerging in the industry.

Operating Alternative Fuel School Buses: Putting Money Back into Your Budget

Join a panel discussion about how operating alternative fuel school buses can help your budget. Hear from current users who are experiencing savings on a daily basis.

Retirement Plan Administration: Timely News & Important Updates

A panel of widely known 403(b)/457(b) third party administrators will review new IRS approved plan documents, IRS audit priorities, and legislation changes that may impact your district. The panel will also discuss your responsibilities as a school district, best practices, and provide ideas on attracting and retaining key employees.

Fun on the Teeter-Totter

Stuck on the teeter-totter with an 800 pound work gorilla? Join us to learn how to achieve balance and return some zen to your life.

You Received an Allegation of Fraud, Now What?

Thoughtful, informed decision-making from the onset can help a district navigate critical issues and prevent the district from mishandling the allegation and damaging its' reputation. Learn how to implement a fraud management protocol and respond to incidents effectively and appropriately.

Effective Communication Strategies for ESSA Site-Based Financial Reporting Results

The new ESSA site-based financial reporting requirements will produce a new data set for all school districts. In order to communicate to stakeholders about this data, we must first understand the data. Learn how the data can be interpreted and best practices for communicating to stakeholders.

Do More with Less: The Power of Automation

As budgets tighten, school business managers are compelled to wring efficiency (and cash) out of programs while improving services to students and schools. A CFO and a former CIO discuss the return-on-investment for automation projects. Examine practical business projects that school districts can implement to save employee time and money. They discuss the basics of calculating ROI and what technology best practices increase efficiency of use.

11:40am — 12:40pm

Compliance Audits: IMRF & Workers Compensation

"Win Mohsin Dada's Money!" an Illinois ASBO Game show where you can win prizes by answering questions about IMRF and Workers Compensation compliance audits. Hear what your peers have to say and have the opportunity to get your difficult questions answered by experienced school business professionals.

Issues Impacting Financings in the Current Market

Get a detailed review of current market conditions, financing and refinancing strategies and opportunities for districts in the current market. Hear about refunding Build America bonds and other issues and considerations relevant to refundings or project financings in the near term.

IDEA Grant Guidance

This is an informal Q & A session with ISBE IDEA grant coordinators. Instead of a traditional presentation, this is an excellent opportunity to ask the experts any specific questions you have regarding the IDEA grant.

Innovative Cost & Risk Reduction Strategies for Your Health Plan

Want to learn what other top performing health plans are doing to help stabilize costs and reduce district risks? Don’t miss out on your opportunity to hear how other districts are increasing benefits while reducing costs.

Advocacy 101

Have you ever wanted to know how things get done in Springfield? Have you ever said, "There outta be a law"? If your answer is "yes", this session is for you. Experience this interactive session where everyone has the opportunity to play a role in order to learn, participate and advocate.

Storm Shelter Requirements

Hear speakers from the 2018 NSSA Storm Shelter Conference and analyze two case studies from districts near you about meeting storm shelter requirements. Learn how to interpret the codes and discover the options your district has.

Energy Incentives 101 & the Legal Implications of Renewable Energy

Learn how to apply for Energy Incentives and how to leverage utility incentives to fund your efficiency projects. Also, learn about the legal implications for the various project delivery models.

Bidding 101: An Interactive Presentation

Join the discussion outlining bidding problems and solutions. Participants should bring their unique experience to share.

The Strategic CFO: Lessons from Social Media

Learn about professional learning networks and your impact on leadership by using social media.

12:50pm — 1:50pm

Why So Many TIF Districts?

Join the discussion on why municipalities find TIF districts so irresistible. See how school districts can address, evaluate and, if appropriate, oppose TIF districts. Learn about the tools you have at your disposal in responding to a TIF district and about how municipalities consider financing options for a TIF district. The presentation team includes two veteran school business officials, a property tax attorney with many years of TIF experience, and a bond lawyer who will share insights on how TIF districts are used to borrow money.

Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) refers to the responsibility of the Local Education Agency (LEA) to maintain the same level of expenditures for the education of children with disabilities from one fiscal year to the next. There have not been any recent changes to MOE, so this session is geared towards beginners and will have plenty of time for Q & A.

Myth Busters: Energy Savings Projects 

It is time to bust some myths about energy savings renovation projects! Discuss the myths and facts about implementing an energy savings project in your district, when to use the process and when not to use it and the different procurement options available.

Energy Purchasing & Contracting: Opportunities & Unforeseen Dangers

Get hands-on, professional advice and insight on energy purchasing and contracting and how they affect your school district. The Illinois Energy Consortium will deliver gas and energy market updates, energy analytics, examples and success stories. Also, attendees will learn about energy broker and supplier sales strategies as well as energy contract pitfalls.

Micro-Credentials for School Business Officials

Be one of the first to learn about cutting edge professional development through micro-credentials and digital badging. This self-guided PD puts you in control of your learning, anytime, anywhere. Micro-credentials allow you to demonstrate competency in school finance by earning digital badges. Once earned, include your digital badge on your resume, email signature and LinkedIn profile to demonstrate your mastery to your professional network.

Goldmine Session

End your conference energized by attending the Goldmine Session on Friday from 12:50pm to 1:50pm. Join three round table discussions of your choice and learn from subject matter experts during this rotating session. See the topics.