Evanston Skokie District 65 referendum committee chair Eamon Kelly says over 250 volunteers have knocked on more than 15,000 doors in the school district to drum up support for the tax hike referendum on Tuesday’s election ballot.

He says the campaign has raised more than $84,000 in cash donations from a total of 305 donors and distributed 2,000 yard signs.

Kelly says the referendum offers “a once in a generation chance” to save the schools from a fiscal crisis.

He says that unless the referendum passes, “teachers will be laid off, programs will be cut, class sizes will balloon and schools will close.”

Kelly says 70 percent of school referendums fail, but “We can buck the trend.”

“We pride ourselves on great schools that serve a diverse group of children,” Kelly says, “We cannot be the generation that lets our public schools fall apart.”

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  1. Wait

    until they find out that there was no financial crisis and that we have an overabundant number of teachers in district 65.

    I hope that they can claim that they were tricked in supporting the referedum.

    1. why I am voting YES on this referendum

      My kids are out of the nest and college graduates now.  I really value the education they received in Evanston.  As I got to know their teachers throughout the years, I was very grateful at the hard work they put into their teaching, including the many items they purchased with their own funds to use in the classroom.  I strongly value teachers’ opinions when it comes to money needed for schools.  I’m not sure how anyone can question whether there’s a financial crisis in Illinois, given the lack of a budget, and the ever increasing decimation of non-profits, including schools.  When my kids were in elementary school, there was a full science lab and science teacher — it was very impressive.  Students were able to take art on a regular basis, as well as music.  All of these have been cut back, and it’s a travesty.  I also know Eamon Kelly and respect him greatly.  I can understand people who are worried about being able to afford the increase in their taxes, but there is no doubt that Evanston schools will be able to make great use of the funds toward improving the education of everyone’s children.  My kids are done with public school, so why should I care?  Why should I be willing to spend more money on this?  Because I believe in education.  I don’t want any Evanston kids to be as ignorant and backward in their thinking as some of the so-called leaders currently in Washington, DC.  Science matters!  The Arts matter!  Decent public education matters!  That’s why I’m voting for this referendum.

      1. Believing in education

        You can believe in education and be fiscally responsible.  Instead of asking for $116 million over 8 years, the ask should have been $40 million over 8 years.  People here have shown how to get to this number without one teacher losing their job.  That is the bone of contention.  D65 is asking for $75 million more than is necessary–then they will soon ask for $90 million via referendum for capital items.  The real ask is $206 million.  Don’t say you didn’t know when you look at your property tax bill 2 years from now.  Don’t say you didn’t know when your neighbor leaves Evanston because they couldn’t afford to live here.  Don’t ask about diversity when the property taxes drove low income people out of Evanston.  Oh…and that 33% increase in income taxes.  This referendum would have had mass support if D65 had shown it was able to get its costs under control.  Instead we are being asked to enable the teachers and administration.  Everyone knows what happens to enablers.


        1. Who moves ?

          So if true, why are not more people leaving ? Probably because when they bought they got a good price and Evanston was “different.” Now they feel that has changed and they can’t get the price for their house that they would need to buy elsewhere—like Wilmette or suburbs north of there.  Why do people still buy in Evanston ? Are they sold a bill of goods—i.e. sales pitch or agents showing the good parts [facts] of Evanston and ignoring the bad ? Or is it the ‘greater fool’ theory—I buy and ‘flip’ in a couple of years [or less] and someone is sure to pay more for the house.

          I’d think a very good measure of buyers would be NU students or better yet Kellogg [and law/medical but their schools are in Chicago].  They lived here for four+ years—how many choose to live here after graduation [discounting those too poor to move from cheap rentals they got as undergrads].  I’ve tried to find out, including NU people who should know but am told they don’t know—odd since they sure find them when asking for money.

          You say:”Don’t say you didn’t know when you look at your property tax bill 2 years from now.  Don’t say you didn’t know when your neighbor leaves Evanston because they couldn’t afford to live here.” ======

          A common comment like the above will be met with responses such as:”people want to move to Evanston..we are growing an prosperous..” [except when the city cries about poverty, afford able housing, declining education, need for more money…].

    2. Oh, to have an overbundant

      Oh, to have an overbundant number of teachers would be a joy! 

    1. Voting NO, but will donate to the schools

      I will be voting no! But, I will be making annual donations to the Evanston schools. I plan to sell my home in a couple of years and don’t want the high property tax on my house to be a deterrent to buyers. Let’s keep our property taxes low and just donate to the schools. 

      1. You can be pro-education,

        You can be pro-education, progressive, embrace diversity and also demand fiscal responsibility.

        I’m voting no on this version of the referendum and look forward to D65 revisiting this in such a manner that shows the leaders have made the tough decisions–administrative cuts, benefit costs in line with state norms, pursuit of residence fraud, appropriate user fees, reduction in teacher staff via attrition for one year to bring class size from 20 to 20.5 students per classroom–instead of shoving this request down our throats via approving contracts where the money isn’t there to fund those contracts.  If this approved, this will become the MO going forward.

        When the administration has made these decisions (and approve contracts they have the money for in the future) I will be on board for Referendum 2.0.

        Tomorrow will be an interesting day to see who drinks the Koolaid and who thinks critically.

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