Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will save slightly more than $1 million in the next school year by freezing salaries of administrators and cutting three administrative positions.

The district faces a multi-million dollar deficit in future years, and is starting to prune expenditures.

The Board of Education already cut $1.9 million for the upcoming academic year by changing middle school start times to require fewer buses, reducing repair and maintenance and dropping the jobs of two food service workers, three library assistant positions, and eliminating reading specialist positions and redistributing that work to other teachers.

Now, in a memo for Monday night’s school board finance committee meeting, Business Manager Kathy Zalewski says the administration has taken additional money-saving steps which do not require board approval.

The one-year salary freeze will save $225,000. Similar savings will come from not filling the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources position, and cutting the STEM Curriculum Coordinator post, which had been temporary.

One Dean of Culture and Climate position will also be cut, with that work being taken over by the remaining Dean.

There are several other cost-reduction items which do not involve specific jobs, such as spending less for professional development and elimination of paid district cell phones.

Board members had asked for administrative savings in addition to the cuts to media and reading interventionist positions. Finance Chair Joey Hailpern pointed out that administrative cost reduction was one of the most popular options with community residents.

Zalewski says the projected spending total for 2021-22 is $144.5 million. The final budget will be approved later this year.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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