Following yesterday’s statement from Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Superintendent Paul Goren that his schools will open on time, Evanston Township High School Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said today that his school will open on time as well, on Aug. 28.

The ETHS chief said that, although he is “very disappointed” that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the school funding bill, “our taxpayers are already required to provide most of our funding.”

Nevertheless, Witherspoon reiterated that “the failure of Illinois to approve an equitable funding formula will ultimately hurt all Illinois schools, all Illinois students.”

The governor’s amendatory veto of millions of dollars for the Chicago Public School system, Witherspoon said, means that the real losers will be the students, “and many of those students have great needs.”

Because Illinois ranks last in funding for schools, Witherspoon said, “allocating some additional funding for schools would be an important step forward.”

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...

Join the Conversation


  1. Why the disappointment
    Witherspoon is disappointed that our Governor vetoed a special 250 million dollar bailout that Mike Madigan attached to the school funding bill. Does he have a special interest in the Chicago teacher pension fund? Evanston taxpayers all ready have an expensive obligation with the Evanston schools and teacher pensions. Why should Evanston taxpayers pay Chicago bills?

  2. Will there ever be agreement on funding ?

                    We hear every year about school funding. Should it be financed by Property Taxes in each town, Property Taxes collected by the town and then redistributed by the State.  I’ve even heard some say that any money parents or others want to contribute to their local school, should instead have to go to the State who then redistributes them ‘equitable.’ Should Sales and Income tax be returned to each city or redistributed to cities by the State.

    Should schools get more money because they pay teachers and administrators more and give them better pensions and benefits or should all of these be set by the State—i.e. equal pay and benefits for all teachers and administrators no matter cost of living or qualification, attendance and graduation records. The same for the size and cost of the school ? Computers and libraries ? Should all high schools have the full slate of AP courses [look at many schools outside Chicagoland  and AP Math is only available at community colleges 20+ miles away and with no public transportation] ?

              Should funds be taken from ‘rich’ communities and given to ‘poor’ communities ? Should New Trier send money to Evanston ? Evanston to Chicago  ? Chicago to Harvey ? Then if you bring the Federal government into the picture, should Illinois school funds be sent to rural Mississippi or Appalachia ?

              You won’t get much agreement on school funding until these questions are resolved by the legislatures. And more importantly by parents if they don’t like the answer—esp. those who like what their schools have—and still want more.  Those parents might choose private schools or homeschooling—unless the government out-laws them—then the yelling will really start.

  3. And Mr. Witherspoon, there is

    And Mr. Witherspoon, there is a very large contingent disappointed in you for simply looking the other way for years and years when parents complained of locker room thefts.  It took a humiliating video of an actual theft for you to finally act.  Simply not a great day to be a Wildkit, eh?

    1. And Mr. Witherspoon, there is
      Not a huge fan of Witherspoon but that is not all on him. The majority of these “Lockerroom thefts” are a direct result of careless students leaving thier valuables unsecure. Just like a majority of residential and Car thefts are a result of residents leaving doors, windows etc. unsecure. Thiefs are always looking for an easy score and unfortunately they are starting at a young age. Also, I thought the videos proved nothing.

      1. Witherspoon’s Russia

        I’ve moved on from the ETHS boys locker room theft scandal but found your comments profoundly inaccurate and misleading.

        Go Google, “ETHS boys locker room thefts” and watch the video again.

        Ask yourself, why did the security guard open a locked locker and go through someone’s possessions? I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but i’m not naive either.

        Hopefully Mueller and his team will get to the truth about Trump’s interactions with Russia.

        The Evanston community will never get total and complete closure because of a clear lack of leadership on this issue demonstrated by both Dr. Witherspoon and Board President Pat Savage-Williams. 

        Many, many questions are left unanswered and a thorough investigation and report that was promised by the Board, never happened.

        One of the worst parts about this whole scandal is that adults in positions of responsibility and authority abused our kids. And it’s not just about the stolen cash and other possessions, but it was the lack of respect of the student’s views and opinions that were totally disregarded by adults at ETHS. What were they thinking?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *