The District Educator’s Council, the union that represents teachers in Evanston/Skokie School District 65, blames proposed changes announced publicly by the administration this spring for delaying an agreement on a new four-year contract that would begin next month.

In a news release to media Friday, DEC President Jean Luft said that a federal mediator will be meeting with the teachers and administration for “several bargaining sessions” in August as they strive for agreement.

“Even though the DEC membership has already given the initial authorization for a strike,” Luft said in the release, “it is our greatest hope to reach an agreement that continues the tradition of high quality instruction in District 65.”

The proposed changes that DEC opposes include “reduction of teachers’ professional planning time, splitting more teachers over two buildings, and scheduling issues.”

Luft said “these changes will have a significantly negative effect on the quality of education in District 65 and impair the district’s ability to recruit and retain excellent teachers.”

The District 65 administration had no immediate comment on the DEC release, but it had said recently that the talks, while not conclusive, were “constructive.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Eliminate TWI

    We need to get rid of TWI and all of the other aides and entitlement programs.  If all the other students are suffering, losing teacher time spent with each individual student, then those special programs are discriminatory and wasteful.  Our days being beholden to special interests, whether NAACP or any other single group, have not improved scores or achievement and only enhance differences in District 65.  We just can't afford it any longer.  We need to pay the best teachers more, get rid of the dead weight, and get rid of all these special programs.

  2. How many TWI for Immigrants from 1800s to 1990 ?

    I don't recall TWI for past generations.  They came and learned the language ASAP because they knew they had to to prosper—and they did.

    TWI is an excuse for assumed lack of ability and low expectations by the schools and community.

  3. Incredulous at your ignorance

    Who ARE you two people who suggest that getting rid of TWI and other "entitlement programs" is the solution to our teacher-contract issues?  Your comments are so ignorant, close-minded, and flat-out wrong that they are unworthy of response; yet I find myself unable to keep quiet.  Most of our forebears who came to this country without speaking the language — like my great-grandparents — took menial jobs and either didn't go to school at all or completed lower grades but didn't go to high school or beyond.  Programs like TWI enable this generation of non-English speakers to learn the language of this country so that they can continue to learn, in school and out, and achieve more than past generations did.  Programs like TWI help our young native Spanish-speakers prosper.  And as for the sugestion of getting rid of aides, who help students with special needs and other learning or behavioral challenges, that will only serve to harm the entire school population, from high- to low-achieving students and everyone in between, not to mention tax the staff and administration.  That you don't see these obvious points indicates that you know nothing about public education or District 65, and have no basis to comment on it.

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