Gretchen Livingston, a member of the District 202 School Board and its past president, has been appointed to the Executive Board of ED-RED, which serves as an advocacy organization for School Districts 65 and 202 and more than 80 other suburban school districts on legislation and education policy in Springfield.

ED-RED has an Executive Board comprised of 12 people who are either board members or administrators of member school districts.

Some key legislation that ED-RED has monitored in the last several years include proposals to change the way in which the State funds education (e.g., Senate Bill 1, and its predecessor Senate Bill 16) and proposals to shift pension costs from the State to school districts.

At several District 65 and District 202 School Board meetings, members of the Boards questioned what ED-RED was doing on Senate Bill 1, under which Districts 65 and 202 were collectively slated to lose $9 million in State aid on an annual basis. At an April 20 District 202 Board meeting, Ms. Livingston reported that only six school districts represented by ED-RED would benefit under SB 1, and about 80 other members would lose funding. Yet, ED-RED at that time was not opposing SB 1, but was taking a neutral position, which could be taken as passive support for the bill.

Ms. Livingston urged ED-RED to oppose SB 1, and raised questions about the process used to decide what positions ED-RED took on pending bills.

As a member of the Executive Board of ED-RED, Ms. Livingston will have a voice in deciding what position ED-RED takes on various bills.

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...