Evanston/Skokie School District 65 board candidate J.B. Rees says he won’t seek or accept the endorsement of the district’s teachers union.

In a statement, Rees said that because the union contracts are up for renegotiation next year and the district faces a projected budget shortfall of $30 million over the next four years, he believes having the union’s endorsement “would pose a conflict of interest” for him as a board member.

He said board members first and foremost responsibility is to the students, parents and taxpayers of the district.

The district, he says, may have no additional money to provide the wage and benefit increases that union members have come to expect.

But he added that he doesn’t mean his action to be a criticism of what he called “the fine teachers, staff and employees of District 65.” He said his children “have benefited from their hard work and dedication over the years.”

Rees says he still plans to attend the union’s candidate forum Feb. 28 to listen to teachers issues and concerns and share his position on work and compensation issues.

He said he supports “merit pay for teachers and giving a teacher the choice to take a larger salary in lieu of paying more into his/her benefits and taking a non-tenured career track.”

He said he also supports legislation to make it more difficult for the teacher’s union to strike and to streamline the process to fire poor-performing tenured teachers; a process he says is now too costly and takes too long to complete.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. J.B. Rees is the man

    J.B. Rees is doing what every political candidate should do.

    It is wrong and clearly a conflict of interest for politicians to accept campaign donations from public unions and then negotiate the union contracts.

    I think this is the reason why we continue to see our property taxes go up and why most government union employees have been getting pay raises during the fourth year of a Recession. Most of our elected officials have accepted government union campaign support. And that's a shame.

    Did you know that if you want to work for D65 or D202 as a teacher you either have to join the union or pay a hefty fee for NOT joining.  And just take a look at the unfunded government union pensions that have never been sustainable and is causing a major financial strain on Evanstonians.

    Question – Have your property taxes gone up during this Recession while property values plummeted? Why do you suppose that is?

    Kudos to J.B. Rees – a breath of fresh air who also is the only candidate that clearly supports consolidation of D65 and D202.

    You know Rees is a big target now and the well-organized and wealthy unions will do everything to see him not elected.

    Vote early because election day is during spring break. Something that makes you go hmmmmmm?

    Rees has my total support and vote.

  2. Get informed re: D65 School Board -mtg tonight

    Tonight @ 7 pm all 5 District 65 School Board Candidates will share their views and answer YOUR questions

    This discussion is open to EVERYONE in the community and is an opportunity to become an informed voter 

    D65 School Board Candidate Forum
    DATE: February 24th
    TIME: 7:00 pm
    LOCATION:   Bessie Rhodes Magnet School, 3701 Davis, Skokie
    MORE: The Bessie Rhodes and King Lab magnet schools are hosting a forum for D65 candidates

    Also – Early voting starts March 14th at 8:30 am and ends on March 31st at 5:00 pm

    To vote early – just go to the Lorraine Morton Civic Center @ 2100 Ridge Avenue
    Room 1700
    Hours are : 8:30 am until 5 pm ; Monday through Friday (CLOSED Saturday & Sunday)
    Bring a picture ID with current home address (Drivers license) – You must be a registered voter

    Early Voting Starts March 14th @ 8:30 am
    Early Voting ENDS March 31st @ 5:00 pm
    Remember to VOTE – Election day is April 5th (but no need to wait)

    Early voting is easy – It's important for all kids – It's your tax dollars – And Home value

    Don't complain if you don't vote

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