Evanston public schools spend far more to educate each student than most school districts in the state.

The per-pupil cost of sending a student to Evanston Township High School over the past four years totalled over $69,000 according to an analysis of state school board data by the Chicago Reporter.

That’s the second highest spending level among the state’s more than 100 high school districts.

But the median property tax rate for ETHS over those years was $2.21 — the 40th highest in the state.

Thanks to relatively high property values compared to the number of students being served, Evanston is able to spend more money on schools than most districts while imposing a comparatively moderate tax burden.

The same pattern holds true at the elementary level.

The per-pupil cost of sending a student to school District 65 from kindergarten through eighth grade over the past nine years totalled $129,000

That’s the 19th highest spending level among the state’s more than 750 elementary school districts.

But when it comes to the tax rate homeowners paid to fund education, District 65 was in the middle of the pack. It’s $3.52 rate ranked 408th among districts statewide.

School funding disparities across the state have been in the news this week with state  Sen. James Meeks leading a bus caravan of Chicago public school students to protest funding disparities at New Trier Township high schools.

In addition the Chicago Urban League filed suit last month challenging state funding formulas as racially discriminatory.

At the high school level per-student spending ranged from less than $30,000 at Webber Township High School District 204 in Buford to over $72,000 at Highland Park Township District 113.

At the elementary level the range was from $53,183 spent per student by Central School District 51 in Washington to $228,442 at.  Lake Forest’s Rondout School District 72.

Related story

Wildly Disparate Funding (The Chicago Reporter)
(Includes spreadsheets with data comparing all Illinois school districts.)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. School Vouchers: when do we want it? NOW!
    Meeks should have bused CPS students to Evanston – it’s closer and Evanston district has one of the highest per pupil spending rates in the state.

    Has anyone asked the Chicago Urban League how the state funding formulas is racially discriminatory when ETHS and D65, with the one of the highest rate of spending per student, has about 30-35 percent minorities?

    I suspect taxes here in Evanston will even rise more and school spending per student will increase at D65 because the teacher’s union just rejected the school board’s contract offer.

    To bad we can’t get school vouchers here in Illinois. The well-funded and powerful teacher’s union just keeps swatting away any attempts for true education reform.

    School vouchers would solve Meek’s problems, the taxpayer’s burden and finally make school districts truly accountable.

    Parents need choices for their children’s education but many just can’t afford them. If you agree, you know who to vote for.

    Anonymous Al

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