Evanston District 65 school board members will be told tonight that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic they’re facing a $4.3 million revenue shortfall in the budget for the fiscal year that starts in July.

In a memo prepared for the board’s Finance Committee meeting tonight, Business Manager Kathy Zalewski says the revenue gap is forecast based on expected reduced property tax collections, mostly from idle businesses and vacant commercial property, combined with lower investment income.

The $4.3 million shortrfall would amount to about 3 percent of the $142.1 million in expenditures the district budgeted for in its current year budget.

Zalewski says COVID-19 may also blow a $1.5 million hole in this year’s budget — with lower investment income and reduced lunch sales, childcare and student fees.

She says state aid payments may also be delayed

In planning for next school year, Zalewski says the administration plans to leave vacant positions unfilled and freeze most non-instructional personnel hiring, renegotiate service contracts, reduce consulting and professional development costs and delay some capital expenditures. 

The budget for the coming school year is scheduled to be presented to the Finance Committee next month and to the full board in August.

Tonight’s board meeting at 7 p.m. will be conducted using the Zoom conferencing system. The meeting link is and the password is 050420. A packet with information about the agenda items is available on the district’s website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. D65

    Let’s see if they do the old cut music teacher, raise a community outrage ploy.

    I would suggest bidding out the outrageously rich employee benefits that have been with the same insurer for over 10 years, eliminate administrative positions, that have nothing to do with the classroom.  Once those savings have been extracted, then reduce non-union salaries to close the rest of the gap.

    We need adults, not manipulators.

  2. District 65 revenue

    There is no way this can be. Our tax dollars pay for the district and we pay high property taxes in Evanston. We need to cut back on administrative positions and why do we need a principle and vice principal at all our school. The amount we pay for taxi transportation for kids to go to school is outrageous. Our superintendent makes a higher salary then most other schools in our area.

    1. Horton hears a “WHAT!”.

      Horton hears a “WHAT!” and a “Why?” and a “WOW”.

  3. President of D65 School Board is accountable

    Suni Kartha joined D65 school board in May 2013, or 7 years ago.

    Suni became the President of D65 School Board in April 2017, or 3 years ago.

    During the tenure of her service on the school board both the academic performance of students, and the financial situation of our district has deteriorated. And during Suni’s reign as board president, there is less transparency and disclosure to the Evanston community and increased conflict on the board.

    How much more time do voters need before we ask Suni to resign?

    Enough is enough.


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