Evanston/Skokie Council of PTAs Strongly Endorses District 65 Referendum
On April 4th, District 65 residents have a critical opportunity to show how vital our schools are to the very fabric of our community. Our strong, high quality schools are why many of us choose to live here. We value our schools' diversity and inclusiveness and entrust our talented teachers to help all of our children develop a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.
We're beginning to make much-needed progress in addressing the achievement gap and are eager to make even greater strides to ensuring all of our students are positioned to thrive. We're proud so many families are flocking to District 65. But this huge enrollment surge and inadequate funding has put our schools at great risk. That is why we're urging a YES vote for the District 65 referendum.
Over the last decade, District 65 has added almost 1,500 students, which cost $20 million annually to educate. The District has maintained balanced budgets over the last several years by making $11 million in reductions, but it can't cut its way out of this structural deficit. Without the referendum, the District faces a massive $112 million hole over the next eight years.
We have nowhere else to turn. The political paralysis in DC and Springfield means we must help ourselves. The consequences are incredibly devastating if we don't:
More than 30 students per class, schools closed, kids shifted to other schools and multi-grade classrooms, curriculum and enrichment programming gutted, free full-day kindergarten eliminated and many of our valued teachers laid off. This would greatly impact how our kids learn and permanently damage our community.
We cannot be the generation that lets our public schools fall apart. Since the District only gets 11% of its funding from the state, and even less from the federal government, increasing property taxes $1.25 per day for the average homeowner is the only option.
Voting YES for District 65 schools means balancing our budget for the next eight years, bringing more technology into the classrooms, introducing a new science curriculum, continuing investments in enhancing equity and further reducing the achievement gap, and investing in critical capital projects, including double-door entries for all our schools.
As PTA leaders, we know how much strong and vibrant schools matter. Our community is always quick to lend a helping hand in times of need, which is why we urge you to vote YES for District 65 schools.
Kristin James, President
Miriam Barnett, Vice President
Jenny Blickenstaff, Secretary
Elliot Frolichstein-Appel, PTA Council Executive Committee