It took two votes to get it done, but the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board Monday night agreed to a joint resolution with District 202 to form a Community Legislative Committee that would work on issues pertinent to Evanston schools.

But they first had to rescind their March 18 vote on a nearly identical resolution that had met some resistance on the part of a member of the District 202 Board.

Now that the two boards have adopted an identical resolution, the committee, that would replace a Joint Legislative Task Force formed under the auspices of the Evanston/Skokie PTA Council, can proceed to identify community members, a meeting schedule, and develop an action agenda.

Under the terms of the resolution, the committee will meet quarterly and will tackle the following tasks:

Coordinate with the city in participating in the annual Evanston Legislative Day in Springfield;

Review and assess the annual state budget and its financial implication for the districts;

Coordinate the districts’ efforts with ED-RED, the regional lobbying group for several suburban school districts;

And conduct an annual public legislative forum with local state representatives on school finance issues.

Other members of the committee, in addition to representation from the two school boards, include the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, and the teachers unions for the two districts.

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. Why not combine Districts 65 and 202

    Too bad the committeee isn't working on a plan to combine both districts into one. One superintendent – one school board.

    I guess that wouldn't be in their best interest. It would be for taxpayers.

  2. But they forgot the most important resolution

    Like combining both school districts to save millions of dollars on duplicated services and redundant jobs!

  3. What savings from consolidation?

    Combining districts would save on two boards combined… unpaid boards.

    Combining districts would require a new set of administrators, and maybe a new district headquarters. District 202 now  is a one-school district. Many of the district level administrators are really doing some typical building administrator functions. 

    At the district level you would need admins to do HS district level stuff at the HQ and new admins to take up the slack in the building. Each district admin would have to have an Elementary, JH, and HS counterpart.

    Costs would go up, not down.


    1. Combine 65 & 202 – Save money & improve quality of Education

      If "Costs would go up, not down" happens if you combine the 2 districts, then you should hire a different management team that can deliver real cost savings to Evanston taxpayers and improve the quality of education to benefit all students.

      Many taxpayers are feeling the stresses and strains of high taxes in Evanston. I don't know too many people in Evanston who have a lot of extra money, just waiting for one of our several taxing bodies to ask for money, either in higher taxes or higher fees. People don't have the extra money, so we need to start thinking about different ways to save more or slow the rate of growth.

      2 separate school districts in Evanston doesn't make sense. There are overlapping costs. 2 superintendents, 2 CFO's, 2 Human Resources Departments, 2 Technology departments, etc, etc.

      And there is finger pointing from D65 to D202 and D202 to D65 about student preparation, reading levels, etc.

      Let's have one school district which provides a consistent and accountable educational experience each and every year for all students. Although students will continue to move from different schools from Elementary (K-5), to Middle School (6-8) and High School (9-12) , one district would provide seemless transitions or as smooth as possible as opposed to our current uneven experience. Think about it – having 1 person in charge of each curricular area should ensure that students are prepared for the next level and enable each and every student to achieve their potential. One district would know the student and the family and be in a better position to consistently provide the necessary supports to enable each and every student to realize their potential.

      Under a unified district teacher salaries can continue with their current structure. The assumption that they must equalize is a fallacy perpetuated by Administrators who seek to keep their redundant positions.

      The times have changed and so must the schools. 

      Structured appropriately, this is a win for students, a win for taxpayers, and a win for the Evanston community. You don't need massive layoffs, but when natural attrition occurs, you don't need to hire a replacement.

      A little common sense goes a long way.

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