Many More Students, Huge Structural Budget Problem: District 65 has welcomed nearly 1,500 new students in the last 10 years. It costs $20 million annually to educate these new kids, but only $3.5 million has been added to the property tax rolls. Property taxes account for 75% of our education budget. Strict tax caps limit how much schools get regardless of how much our home’s value increases. Illinois ranks dead last nationally in state funding for public education. This has created a cumulative $112 million budget hole over the next 8 years.
Cutting Costs, Strategic Spending: Almost $11 million has been cut from our budget over the last several years, while protecting classrooms. Our teachers are helping save an additional $2.6 million over the next three years.
While Still Making Many Impressive Gains: More students are making annual academic growth targets. In just two years, students who meet or exceed national averages are up 8% in math and 9% in reading. Struggling readers are catching up. Over the same period, the number of students whose scores fell in the bottom 25% nationally dropped by more than 13%.
A Springfield or DC bailout isn’t coming. The only option is to help ourselves. The consequences are dire if we don’t: Class sizes of 30+, Forcing kids into other schools, Multi-grade classrooms, Closing schools, Curriculum & enrichment programming slashed, Teachers laid off. The average homeowner would pay $1.25 more per day, which is $39 a month.
Strategically Spending The New Revenue: Balanced budgets for the next 8 years, more innovation and technology, strengthen core curriculum, continue investments in enhancing equity & reducing achievement gap, maintaining partnerships and investing in long overdue capital projects.
To learn more or help out go to SaveEvanstonSchools.com