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District 65 warns of budget cuts

District 65's Orrington Elementary School.

Superintendent Devon Horton says Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will have to reduce its budget by “upwards of $1 million” in the next school year.

In a message to the community, Horton says the “COVID-19 pandemic has weighed heavily on the District’s already strained budget,” and that cuts will be required “as we look towards the coming school year” of 2021-22.

The current school year’s budget (2020-21) is about $139 million. District officials have not said if the $1 million cut would be from that base, or from the several million dollar larger amount previously projected as the spending level for the 2021-22 school year.

More details may come out during a school board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, or in a special finance committee session at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Both meetings can be viewed on the district’s YouTube channel.

The superintendent says budget decisions will be made with community input. He says any reductions “will be considered through an equity lens and programs and supports that directly impact marginalized students will be prioritized.” There is no word yet on whether the cuts may include layoffs.

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Jeff Hirsh

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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