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Evanston Skokie School District 65 is asking voters Tuesday to approve a 16.7 percent increase in property taxes to fund school operations. Here’s a look at enrollment and spending trends that underly the referendum request.

Enrollment

While enrollment at District 65 schools has increased substantially in recent years, the district now projects enrollment will level off and then decline slightly over the next five years.

The chart above shows total District 65 enrollment reported to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for school years from 1998-99 through 2014-15 as presented in annual School Report Cards.

It also shows District 65 enrollments from 2007-08 through 2015-16 from the District 65 2016-17 budget and the figure for 2016-17 and enrollment projections for school years 2017-18 through 2021-22 as presented in a memorandum to the school board last November..

The discontinuity between the state and local figures is caused by the exclusion of students at Park School, the Rice Children’s Center and the JEH Education Center from the district’s figures.

Over the past few years, District 65’s enrollment projections have ended up being off by 1 percent or less.

In a community like Evanston, where the total population has grown by less than 2 percent since 2000, school enrollment levels tend to be cyclical.

The staff memo says, “Factors that influence enrollments include past births in the district area, residential construction and demolition, families moving in and out of existing homes, families opting for private schools or homeschooling, and changes in the economy that impact the number of families doubling up.”

Teacher pay

State Board of Education figures show that District 65 teachers continue to earn subtantially more than the statewide average

In 1998-99 District 65 teachers earned 17 percent more than the state average. By 2014-15 that spread had increased to 24 percent.

Cost of living differences between the Chicago area and downstate communities account for much of the overall difference between District 65 and the average pay for elementary teachers. For example, the cost of living in Peoria is said to be 24 percent less than in Chicago. But more than 60 percent of the state’s total population lives in the Chicago metro area.

A variety of economic conditions have exerted downward pressures on pay for all workers in recent years, but District 65 school teachers have done better than most.

The consumer price index calculator maintained by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that from 2000 to 2015 the average District 65 teacher’s salary rose 3.7 percent after adjusting for inflation, while the pay of the average teacher in Illinois fell 1 percent and the average Evanston resident’s pay, based on per capita income, fell 8 percent.

The new teacher contract, agreed to last fall, provides that teachers will receive larger pay increases during its term if the referendum passes than if it fails.

Student-teacher ratio

State report cards show that District 65 has substantially more teachers for its students than the average school district in Illinois. (Data for this metric was missing from the report cards covering the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.)

Despite the higher number of teachers, average class sizes in District 65 are only slightly smaller than the state average, because some District 65 programs assign more than one teacher to a class.

Expenditures

This chart shows total District 65 spending reported to the state for school years from 1998-99 through 2014-15 as presented in annual School Report Cards. The more recent figures come from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school budgets.

Much of the year-to-year variation in spending comes from differences in the amount spent on capital projects.

Since 1998-99 the annual spending increase has averaged 3.6 percent.

The school district, in its referendum materials, projects that spending increases will average 3.9 percent in the future, while it anticipates that — absent the tax hike — revenue will increase by only 1.9 percent annually.

The school board recently outlined a set of spending cuts totalling $5.1 million that it plans to implement for next school year if the referendum fails.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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45 Comments

  1. Clarifying one fact…

    Thank you for this overview.

    It’s important to clarify one data point cited in this article.  I’m unclear on the specific source of information for average # of students per classroom or how it is calculated as it is wrong to say class size average around 15 per class, if I interpret the chart correctly.  

    For D65 K-8 classrooms the class sizes vary by grade and by school.  Generally D65 classroom sizes fall between the low and mid 20s, with some schools going higher and others at the low end of the range and generally with middle schools having more kids per class than elementary schools.  This is important as a successful referendum invests in maintaining these class sizes.

    Research consistently shows that class size is a critical variable in helping students achieve their potential.

    Let’s pass this referendum to show that we are committed to opportunity for every child and that we value public education as a community.

    1. What’s to clarify?

      Hi Richard,

      The chart shows the information that is presented in the annual school report cards produced by the ISBE.

      In the 2016 report card look under “Instructional Setting” > “Student-to-Staff Ratios” > “Pupil-Teacher Elementary” where you’ll see that the District 65 ratio is 14.6 and the state average is 18.7.

      As the story notes “Despite the higher number of teachers, average class sizes in District 65 are only slightly smaller than the state average.”

      Perhaps you’d care to provide further explanation for that?

      — Bill

      1. Clarification

        Those stats include all certified teachers, not just gen ed teachers. It is critical to note that many (most?) schools in the state have no art teachers, no ELL teachers, no music teachers, no drama teachers. Is this what we want for Evanston? 

        1. Teacher Attendance

          Evanston also has lower average teacher attendance than the state.

          In District 65, 68.4% of teachers have 10 or fewer absences per year, while 76.5% meet that standard statewide.

          Why don’t teachers in Evanston actually show up at the school? They get paid more and come to work less.

  2. Thanks. Great stats

    This is much better on the schools than we have gotten from school officials and those supporting the Referendum who cloud the real statistics and make such dire projections—and ignore that real student/teacher ratios and spending.

  3. Thank you Bill

    I wish we had this information 3 weeks ago. It sounds like a good reason to eliminate early voting, at least on referendums.

    We have probably had over half of the people who will be voting, vote already, It looks like the School Board and the teachers union have bamboozled the district 65 residents with the misleading and false information in their daily mailing over the last 3 weeks.

    Hopefully, people who have not voted yet and seen this information, will save themselves, and other Evanston taxpayer, hundreds of dollars in property taxes or rent increases, well come out in droves and VOTE NO.

    District 65 and the teachers union should hide their heads in the sand before resigning.

    1. Referendum

      More money for education never seems to be a bad investment. I’m voting yes so that my kids and future children in the district have the best available to them. If you vote no, in my opinon you are against education. 

      1. Baseless and not respectful

        Assuming that everyone who opposes the huge tax increase advanced by D65 is “against education” constitutes a baseless claim. We all need facts, not unfounded rhetoric. 

        Building community is about respect, even when someone does not agree with you.  Being disrespectful will not sway voters to your side. 

    2. 16.7% Property Tax Increase Is Huge!

      Thank you for presenting the facts! A 16.7% property tax will equal over a $1000 increase for me. I might be willing to vote for a smaller increase, but this is crazy! 

      1. In the D65 levy

        Hi Kara,

        It’s a 16.7 percent increase in the District 65 property tax levy — the only one the district controls.

        The district’s levy last year was 37.92 percent of your total tax bill.

        So if your total tax bill was $10,000 last year. The district’s share was $3,792.

        A 16.7 percent increase in the school district levy would increase what last year was a total $10,000 tax bill by $633.

        — Bill

        1. Thanks for clarifying Bill — it’s still a significant increase

          Thank you for clarifying Bill. It’s still going to be an increase of over $400/year for me. I don’t have kids in schools here. I want Evanston to have good schools, but it would be nice to see more creative approaches to raise money than continuing to increase taxes. 

  4. The money and influence is behind the D65 tax referendum

    The D65 $14.5 million tax referendum is all about the Teacher’s Union and the political elites of our community.

    The Teacher’s Union donated $12,000 to the Committee to Support the D65 Referendum. Why is the Teacher’s Union so concerned about passing the tax referendum when probably the majority of D65 teachers and administrators reside outside of Evanston?

    Also consider that Eamon Kelly who heads the committee to Support the D65 Referendum is also the Evanston Democratic Party Committeeman.

    Mark Tendam, running for mayor, endorsed and donated money to the Committee to Support the D65 Referendum.

    Candace Chow who voted to put the referendum on the ballot and running for another term on the D65 Board also donated money to the committee to Support the D65 Referendum.

    Terry Walsh, a partner of the Strategy Group, made a $12,000 inkind donation to the Committee to Support the D65 Referendum. Walsh was one of President Obama’s key campaign advisors serving as Deputy Director of Paid Communications for Obama for America. He also worked on Rahm Emanuel’s campaign for mayor in 2011 and was “mail consultant for the Michigan Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign, creating an innovative and award winning Absentee Voter application and persuasion mail program that helped reelect Governor Jennifer Granholm and Senator Debbie Stabenow.”

    In other words folks, the money, power and influence is behind the $14.5 million tax referendum. Those who oppose the tax referendum are the clear underdogs.

    1. I don’t understand

      I’m not sure what kind of smoking gun you think you’ve found. The teachers whose jobs are at stake are in support of not getting fired? Preposterous!

      Eamon Kelly who heads the Referendum commitee is also a democrat and is involved in local politics! Outrageous! (I believe he has kids in D65 just to add to your outrage)

      Mark Tendam and Candace Chow donate to a cause they believe in! Criminal!

      I don’t know anything about Terry Walsh and what was donated in kind but to be outraged that people financially support a cause they believe in is anti-democratic.

      Referendums rarely pass and a lot of people are worried that their children will not get the same quality of education that students that came through district 65 previously did.

      Part of the reason people want to move to Evanston is because the schools here are very good. Those of us that have kids in school or entering school don’t want our kids to get shafted.

    2. Investigative posting

      You forgot to add, Al, that Eamon Kelly grew up in Evanston, is an Evanston homeowner, and has a child in D 65 schools. So, this “elite” has invested his time to work for quality schools. What a scandal!

      1. The Teacher’s Union and Democratic party are joined at the hip

        I point out that the politically connected such as Evanston Democratic Party committeeman and former state rep. candidate Eamon Kelly are using their political influence and money to pass the $14.5 million tax referendum and you and sgg act as if it’s no big deal since some have kids in D65 and grew up and live in Evanston.  

        I forgot to mention the list of other politicians that are using money and influence to pass the tax referendum. Here they are:  Jan Schakowsky, US House Representative  |   Daniel Biss, State Senator  |  Laura Fine, State Representative | Robyn Gabel, State Representative/ Larry Suffredin, Cook County Commissioner  |    Liz Tisdahl, Mayor  |  Devon Reid, (Running for) City Clerk/all Evanston aldermen,  Joseph Hailpern, (Running for) 65 School Board  |  Claudia Garrison, 65 School Board/Omar Brown, 65 School Board  |  Tracy Quattrocki, 65 School Board  |  Suni Kartha, 65 School Board.

        To sum up, the political elites in Evanston are using power, money and influence to pass the tax referendum. It’s not just because some have kids in school or live in Evcanston. It’s because the powerful Teacher’s Union is a strong ally of the Democratic party.

        Remember, more than 90 percent of all government union campaign donations in Illinois go to Democratic party candidates. And remember, so far the Committee to Support the D65 Referendum has raised more than $85,000.

        So yes, those who are not politically connected – the majority of Evanston property owners – are the underdogs in this battle to significantly raise our taxes.

        Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin in May 2015 warned Evanston residents that they can expect big hikes in their property tax assessments in 2016. Well, if you got your property tax bill this year then you know the chickens have come home to roost.

        1. Your opposition doesn’t have to advance your position

          If you choose to oppose any issue on the ballot, and wish to influence others to your position, nothing stops you from organizing an opposing block of voters. Raise funds for signs, knock on doors, host coffees, meet community groups. Don’t blame the  pro referendum volunteers for the lack of an organized opposition group. Not their job to your work.

           

          1. Time for another tax revolt!

            Unfortunately, just about all the elected politicians in our town are supporting the $14.5 million ($116 million total) tax referendum with their army of Democratic party volunteers, money, power and influence.

            If you recall a few years back, many of our elected officials got behind the proposed $28 million new school in the Fifth Ward that was soundly rejected. I think our elected officials learned a lesson – more money and political power is needed to pass the next hugely expensive referendum. 

            I hope most of us are the silent majority and will vote AGAINST the tax referendum.

            But you’re right about one thing – most of us who are not politically connected should step up, organize and fight the man. Perhaps send to the next election a consortium of non-Democratic party candidates. I for once would love to see a candidate on any school board, city council or state and federal legislature run on a platform of LOWERING TAXES!!!

            I have a friend with children who is very very liberal. She asked me about Evanston public schools. I said it was OK (my kids attend Evanston public schools). She did her research and told me later that she was not impressed with Evanston public schools nor the high taxes and she moved to a northwest suburb.  I know several people who moved out of Chicago recently to avoid the tax hit property owners there will endure. Property taxes AFFECT PROPERTY VALUES!! PERIOD!!!

            Cook County has one of the highest sales tax in the nation. Illinois is billions in debt largely due to the unsustainable goverment union pension system and state legislators, Mostly Democrats, increased our income taxes in 2011. Last year, the Chicago City Council passed the largest property tax hike EVER in the city’s history!!!

            Illinois is broke. Chicago is broke. D65 is broke but it still recently gave the Teacher’s Union and administrators a pay raise and other perky benefits just before it voted to put the $14.5 milion tax referendum on the ballot.

            About 25 years ago, a group of Evanston residents angry about increased taxes banded together and ran a consortium of fiscally conservative candidates and was able to put on the ballot a measure to reduce the number of city councilmen. The result was mixed – some grassroots candidates won and the City Council was cut in half. But what we all know is the tax hikes in property, sales and income just kept rising disproportionately over the last two decades.

            Around the same time of the Evanston tax revolt, Shand Morahan & Co. which at the time was Evanston’s fourth highest taxpayer, left Evanston for Deerfield primarily due to the rising school taxes. The company’s owner was quoted in Crains, saying “I would like to see the schools give as much attention to their fiscal policies as they do to education.” So do we.

            And more than two decades later – same as it ever was. It’s up to us voters to strike this monstrous tax hike down and then, hopefully, vote in fiscally conservative candidates in the next election. Or it will be more of the same.

        2. Educated people joined @ the hip

          Thanks for noting how those who have stepped out & made an effort to govern society are all in favor of the referendum. They are, correctly, in favor of supporting our future via education. You’re viewing what you’ll personally “lose” economically while others are looking at what we’ll gain by ensuring our kids are educated & prepared to step into leadership roles. $40/month is a small price to pay for keeping public schools well staffed & funded. I, for one, vote in favor of future gains at the small cost of my wallet. Easy choice. Vote yes for our kids.

          1. It is $40 more – not a total of $40

            JPC – this is $40 more per month if this refererendum gets approve.  This will bring my totally monthly bill for school taxes to approximately $363 PER MONTH.  That is not a small price to pay  This is an outrageous increase.  I vote NO.

          2. Yup. $40/month added. A

            Yup. $40/month added. A very small price to pay for our kids. $363/month to help pay for schools open to all is a small price to pay. I’ll be paying more per month & will be happy doing so.

          3. Sources of funding

            Those who want [never ending] tax increases for schools without accountability, are welcome to donate e.g. $1000 or more per year. The rest of us who had economics know throwing money down a money pit does not work. Maybe Evanston could have its own lottery with all the money going to schools or build a casino, maybe in the rear of city hall.

          4. What color is the sky in your world ?

            Do you really believe $40 a month extra does not effect a lot of people ? Do you really believe this [like prior taxes] will improve the children’s education ? Do you not notice all the existing taxes that we pay, schools and other, or the bond issue and payments for the Crown Center or all the other bond issues of the past for everything from schools to road/sewers, ‘gifts’/special deals to business [like Trader Joes]. Wait until taxes are raised to pay off the pension obligation let alone all the salary/benefits the Council will continue to pay in contracts–esp. if residents get fed-up, take losses on their houses and leave Evanston.

  5. From this morning’s NYT.  

    From this morning’s NYT: Who needs charters when you have public schools like these?  

    While the recommendation made is for our nation’s secretary of education to visit this Tulsa district in order to refute her view of charter schools being more nimble than public schools, perhaps our own D65 board and administration can join.  The Tulsa district’s spend is 50% per student less than D65’s, yet the outcomes are incredible.

    Ours is not a revenue problem — it is a spend issue.  The stranglehold of the defined benefit pension plan is suffocating the district.  This will be a difficult vote for many disenfranchised with an ask to increase their property taxes over 15% with no meaningful change made to the cost structure.

  6. Ever-rising taxes

    In 1967-68, we had roughly 38 students per class, at least that’s what I had.  We didn’t think we needed more money in salaries and other expenses.  We just taught with what we had before us.  In spite of ever-rising taxes in 65, minority graduation rates at ETHS haven’t changed much since 67-68.  Money doesn’t seem to do the job.

    1. Vote yes

      Regarding the statistics presented that D65 has more teachers per capital than the average school district In the state, it is important to note that the average district in the state has no art teachers,  no music teachers, no teachers for pull out classes for students learning  English. In terms of comparisons, the board has defined a peer group of similar districts; comparisons with CPS or schools in rural communities are not useful unless that’s what we want for Evanston. I sure don’t.

      1. Source ? Laughable !

        I find that hard to believe. Even in 1960s [and true today] my semi-rural hometown [6000 population] has music, art, drama and such at all grades—though not always taught by ‘specilaists.’   We also had Latin, French and German in high school. Is Evanston behind even rural 1960s schools ? If so we need more than funds—we need a house cleaning of the schools and Boards !

        1. just because you find it hard

          just because you find it hard to believe doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
          Your semi-rural hometown probably had starkly different costs of living than evanston too. 

          Comparing education in the 60s and today is largely pointless. How was your computer education in the 60s? Things have changed. Standards have changed. Music art and drama being taught by people who aren’t compentent is no longer acceptable.

          1. Stewardship

            I’m in favor of music and art.  I am not in favor of spending $75 million more than is necessary to fund the schools–those savings have been shown by numerous posters on evanstonnow.  No teacher would lose their job.  The referendum is about our stewardship of our resources.

          2. I agree

            I agree with John.  We need a fiscally responsible plan.  Where is the plan to reduce spending?  All I have read is the need for funds in order to continue spending.  I find it hard to believe that this is the best plan that they could come up with.    Sounds like they didn’t do the entire homework assignment.  Please give us something we can all live with.

    2. Do people forget their own education ?

      I’m all for good education and find much of what is done today lacking. But people should think back on their own education. How many had pre-K—yet turned out fine or excellent. Remember each decades in the past—we seem to have overcome the lack of calculator [maybe we really learned better instead of punching in numbers until the answer was ‘right’ [e.g. accounting, science]. 

      How many of us had classes much larger than ‘recommend’  today ? Twenty+ year old text books, [very] small community or school libraries, no computers, no internet, no AP, no ‘role models’ [at least in fields like science other than K-12 teachers].  My semi-rural town was surrounded by ‘one room’ schools for K-8 but some of the best grade 9-12 students [in the ‘real school’] came from the one room schools.  To give an extreme example Newton dropped into ETHS would probably ‘catch-up’ quickly.

      I’m not suggesting returning to the ‘good old day’ but we seem to forget how we progressed from what today would have been considered ‘primitive education.’ But have we really evaluated what the Boards say they need to help students ? Oh yes, we also had parents who had not even finished high school but that did not stop them from making sure we did well—despite our ‘primitive education.

      1. The Good Ole’ Days…for Sure

        Well…when I was in school…classes were large…..at least 30 kids. Students didn’t disrespect the teacher or anyone else, which meant the teacher actually taught lessons uninterrupted. Parents were heavily involved with the schools, and extracurricular activities. It was an honor to be part of the PTA. Things are different now……unfortunately. Too many things to list, but everyone is well aware of them.

  7. Student/teacher ratio and ‘1500’ student increase

    It would be interesting to see how having students have an RFID chip on a tag they wear [e.g. around their neck]. Entrance to the school would require the tag to be scanned and possibly attendance in each room checked by this. The tag would be issued by the Board or city and in a tamper-proof form. This should eliminate children from other towns attending Evanston schools and possibly increasing tax payer cost.

  8. No pay freeze (or pay cut),

    No pay freeze (or pay cut), annual 3-5% raises, no pension or healthcare reform in the last CBA when these budgetary pressure were well know. When the teachers make cuts, then raise my taxes. VOTE NO.

  9. Wow.

    If this fails I can’t wait to hear the complaints of home values dropping because people aren’t moving here from Chicago anymore to be in a better schooling environment. People comparing there education from the 60’s – 90’s, to even the early 2000’s is absurd. It’s beyond baffling to me that people act like schools are our enemy. That they’re robbing us blind and need to make cuts. Go to a school and see what they have to work with. Sit with a teacher for a week while they teach. I think a lot of tunes would change.

    1. Double Wow

      You don’t understand the simple math of a monthly budget.  Higher taxes = LESS money for principal and interest payments.

      High taxes are killing Cook County property values growth relative to national property value trends. Chicago metro is among the worst for property value growth: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20160602/CRED0701/160609987/chicago-home-prices-2003-redux

      Chicago metro also has some of the highest property taxes in the entire nation. By your logic, raise our taxes and we’ll have stellar price appreciation!

      Tell me how even higher taxes foster higher property values? Especially in a town with already high taxes, and with mediocre schools. Is this some version of  “New Math” being taught today?

      Voting NO tommorow.

    2. Complaints

      I think that if this passes, you will start seeing home prices fall as more people will start fleeing Evanston. Schools are not our enemies, but teacher unions sometimes are our enemies. This is especially true when they flood our mail boxes with false and misleading information. Local pols don’t help the problem by mimicking  the union brochures.

      Schools like any other business have a point were throwing money at a project has a point of diminishing return, There will always be good students who breeze their way through school, bad students who probably have no home support, and the great majority, the students in the middle. The job of the teacher is to raise the level of all students to the next level. Despite having more success, great teachers have a tough time doing this. The majority of teachers have a hard time taking students to the next level.  They can ease the task by imploying a lesson plan that is interesting, fun, firm, leaving their politics at home.

      More money will not solve the biggest problem teachers need to solve. Get the parents and guardians involve in students education by ensuring that homework is done and showing up at frequent PARENT/TEACHER conferences to pickup report cards.

      My complaint is that the schools appear to be making little effort to solve their problem in rasing students to the next level.

      1. Look at the big picture

        The District has been mking cuts for the past 7 years to try and mtigate the deficit. I have seen these cuts first hand at my local elementary school such as cuts in janitorial staff, reading specialists and capital improvements to a 1914 buidling such as updating the entrances to current safety standards. Yes, the doors need to be updated to guard against armed intruders.

        The Board has alreayd voted on cuts should the referundum not pass including eliminating middle school athletics, the orchestra program, and laying off teachers (who have already been notified and in theory are looking for jobs in other districts) and increasing class sizes.

        Contemporary learning requires contemporay tools such as computers and ipads. To compare today’s educational system and students needs to what was happening in the 60’s is silly. Let’s invest in slates.

        Schools represent communities. Crappy schools equal a crappy community. Evanston thrives dues to our schools, our residents and our forward thinking.

        I am constantly amazed teachers are ‘blamed’ for issues. They do deserve raises, pensions and funding for their classrooms. My daughters’ teacher stocks food for kids who come to school without breakfast to help her kids have a great learning day. Teaching is a calling and our kids spend 6+ hours a day with them – don’t we want the best and shouldn’t they get paid for their dedication? To compare District 65 teacher salaries to the rest of the state is not apples to apples. Spend a day in their classroomandyou’ll see that they deserve every penny. They are caregivers, friends, psychologists, protecters, and provide a safe place for all kids.

        There is a chart in this article that shows how enrollment will level off and drop, but that isn’t for another 6 years.

        A vote Yes means a increase in taxes based on the amount you pay for schools – not the entire tax bill. Talk to homeowners in Higland Park if you want a know what happens to property values when schools are at risk. Thank you.

        1. Looking out my window

          Hi Topaz…your first paragraph references teh UPCOMING $90 million capital referendum.  The physical condition of the schools is not part of this $116 million dollar referendum.

          To your point regarding “blaiming” the teachers, their union asked and teachers approved a contract that was not funded.  Passing the referendum will allow the administration to make good on a NSF check.  I don’t like being handed NSF checks to begin with as it shows a combination of bad faith, poor judegement and lack of respect for our community known as Evanston.

          Yes, the administration could have been adults and told the union no as well.  

          The request is overstated by $75 million dollars–many posters have shown creative ways to save over $75 million dollars without eliminating one teacher, terminating band/orchestra/athletics, etc.

  10. Property Tax Auction

    Evanston Township had over 200 properties listed with past due property taxes. Auction started today. Wonder how many will show next year.

    1. Just don’t put the $40/month on the tax bill — VOTE NO

      I can’t see how $40/month more should go on the tax bill. When you go to sell your home, buyers will see these high taxes and lose interest. Yes, good schools are important to Evanston, but why not come up with another way? Did you even try to think of creative alternatives? Just taking a tax grab is the easy way out! 

      1. Put the $40/ month on all of our bills.

        Vote YES If you are that passionate about the issue then get up & get involved. It’s easy to be an armchair QB. Participate & be involved in D65. Here’s a shout out to Armchair Al- lead the revolt & you’ll at least demonstrate the courage of your stated conviction. You’ve not done so as of yet.

  11. “A successful referendum,

    “A successful referendum, they said, would allow the district to fund technology instead of using long-term debt; earmark $1 million a year to fund balances; use more reading specialists; maintain and expand one of the middle school’s instructional technology programs; and make more funds available for capital projects.”

    So my property taxes, having already jumped by 25%, will be increased further, so the school district can essentially expand services and have more money to play with?  It makes the doomsday budget that they released seem like just a scare tactic.

    Good luck funding anything in the future when everyone has been taxed out of town. 

    And don’t tell me that high property taxes are the cost of higher home values.  When property values dropped in the bust, my tax bill actually increased as they “refigured” the funding formula.

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