Spring break for Evanston school kids coincided with election day for the schools this year, and many observers believe that may have contributed to what’s believed to be a record low voter turnout.

Spring break for Evanston school kids coincided with election day for the schools this year, and many observers believe that may have contributed to what’s believed to be a record low voter turnout.

School District 65 board members are scheduled to consider the always-controversial topic of school calendars at a working board meeting Monday, and the proposed calendar they’ll be looking at for the next school election year, 2013, shows that spring break will be over by the time election day arrives two years from now.

That year Evanstonians will also be electing city officials, which tends to result in a higher voter turnout anyway.

Avoiding a conflict with election days isn’t one of the criteria listed in a memo from School Superintendent Hardy Murphy outlining the issues addressed in building the calendars for the next three years.

And on both even-numbered years covered by the proposed calendars, the break period does fall in the first full week of April.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. Low because of options

    I can admit that this is the first election in my life I have not voted in. The reason? I don't care about the school board. I am a single renter with no children. Therefore, there was no incentive for my participation.

    the 2013 election will have a MUCH higher turnout because municipal positions will be up for grabs. I will be voting then

    1. Sadly, I think this is the real reason…

      I think many tenants and even property owners don't realize that taxes for the three school districts represent almost 70% of the total property tax bill.  Municipal taxes are a mere 20% or so.

      I'm not sure how taxes are calculated for rental property – but, rest assured, landlords pass that cost on to tenants.  To get an idea: a 1-bedroom apartment downtown that's up for sale as a condo lists its annual taxes as almost 4 thousand dollars – or over $300 a month.  

      In addition, many of the issues we face as a community: joblessness, crime rate, etc. are tied to educating our young people.  I understand completely why someone might opt not to vote for school board – but the school board is currently the only system of accountability we've got, and the people who most need a voice are those who aren't actively engaged in the schools as parents.

  2. Early Voting

    Between early voting and absentee voting, being on spring break isn't much of an excuse to begin with.

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.