Evanston/Skokie School District 65 board members are scheduled to decide tonight whether to seek funding under the state’s “Race to the Top” program.

The program offers a total of $21 million to be spread among districts that agree to implement the Performance Evaluation Reform Act for teachers a year earlier than otherwise required by the school code.

School Superintendent Hardy Murphy says that because District 65 is one of only a small number of distrricts in the state that already includes student growth as part of its evaluation system, it is well positioned to participate in the program.

The deadline for applying for the program is the end of the month and participation also requires the approval of the local teachers union. Talks about the program with the teachers union were still underway when the packet of materials for tonight’s board meeting was prepared.

The school board meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the District 65 administration offices, 1500 McDaniel Ave.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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