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An analysis conducted by The Chicago Reporter reflects that Evanston School District 65 spent a cumulative amount of $129,198 per student in the period 1998-2007, which encompasses a kindergarten through eighth grade education. This amounts to an average of $14,355 per year. District 65 had the 19th highest per pupil spending rate in the State among 755 elementary and unit school districts.

ETHS spent a cumulative amount of $69,492 per pupil during the period 2003-2007, which encompasses a freshman through senior year education. This amounts to an average of $17,373 per year. ETHS had the second highest per pupil spending rate in the State among 102 high school districts.

The Chicago Reporter also compared the amount to educate students in Evanston versus the amount spent in Chicago. The Reporter concluded, “The 6,413 students who started elementary school in Evanston in 1994 and graduated from high school in 2007 had about $290 million more spent on their education than the same number of Chicago Public Schools students.” On average, Evanston spent about $45,000 more per student than the Chicago Public Schools to educate a student from kindergarten through senior year high school.

On Aug. 20 the Chicago Urban League and the Quad County Urban League filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging that the State’s method for raising and distributing education funds to local school districts disparately impacts racial and ethnic minority students in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 and provisions of the Illinois Constitution.

“Illinois ranks 49th in the nation for the funding gap between rich and poor students, and white and minority students,” said Mary Ellen Guest, campaign manager of A+ Illinois, the state’s leading advocate for improved school quality and funding.