The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education Tuesday night voted unanimously, 6-0, to ask the taxpayers of the district for an additional $14.5 million a year in operating funds for the next eight years.
The vote came after several months of discussion and followed a unanimous recommendation of its Finance Committee to seek the additional funds.
At the meeting, the vote followed a lengthy recap by Superintendent Paul Goren of points he has made to community groups in recent months that left no doubt that the increased taxes would be essential to avert catastrophic cuts that, as one parent pointed out, could result in lower property values for residential property In the district if it were not approved.
The exact language of the proposition, as it will appear on the April 4 ballot, reads as follows:
“Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for Evanston/Skokie Community Consolidated School District Number 65, Cook County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to to 0.595% above the limiting rate for school purposes for levy year 2015 and be equal to 4.166% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2016?”
At the beginning of Tuesday night’s meeting, two parents of students in the district spoke in favor of the referendum and pledged their support to helping to educate the community on the necessity for its approval.
Following the vote, board members made farewell speeches to Richard Rykhus on the occasion of his departure from the board, effective Wednesday, due to time requirements of a new job.
Rykhus was the board’s vice president and chair of its Finance Committee and an outspoken supporter of the operating referendum that the board approved Tuesday night.