Dear District 65 Community –

Last night, the School Board approved a five-year contract agreement with the District 65 Educators’ Council (DEC). The contract honors the hard work of our educators with a focus on learning conditions for students and working conditions for DEC members. As a result, we believe the contract will allow District 65 to attract and retain the best and brightest educators for our students.

We are deeply grateful for all of the bargaining team members for their collaboration and engagement in order to reach a historic contract agreement. On May 24, a tentative agreement was reached by both parties and was ratified and approved by the DEC membership, with a 98% vote, on June 4. This is the first time in years that the contract has been approved prior to the start of a new school year. The five-year contract will provide our educators and schools with welcome stability in the coming years. During the process, both teams acknowledged the district’s structural deficit with expenses outpacing revenues. The contract length will provide opportunities for thoughtful collaboration around deficit reduction strategies that keeps students at the center.

While the bargaining process officially began in January, DEC members, senior administrators, and the school board have intentionally worked on building capacity for truly collaborative leadership over the past several years. The bargaining process was a continuation of this commitment. Teams agreed to enter into Interest Based Bargaining (IBB), facilitated by federal mediators, to come together around shared interests and to creatively problem solve issues that both teams believed to be important. In addition, the process was modified to include the use of the Racial Equity Impact Assessment tool.

The teams participated in approximately 26 bargaining sessions and discussed a range of issues related to compensation and working conditions — including planning time, team meetings, safety issues, professional learning, leaves of absence, insurance, stipends, and salary. Typically Interest Based Bargaining shifts to traditional Positional Bargaining when economics and finances are discussed. The bargaining teams maintained the IBB processes throughout the bargaining sessions signalling the commitment to working collaboratively on issues facing the district. Contract highlights have been included for your review. Once the review process has been completed by both parties, a final contract will be posted to the District 65 website at

We appreciate all of the time and energy that went into the process and look forward to continued collaboration in the coming year. Wishing everyone a great summer!

Paul Goren, Superintendent
Suni Kartha, Board President
Meg Krulee, DEC President

FY20-FY24 Contract Highlights

In order to more closely align with district revenues, in all contract years, salary is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI):

Cost of living increases are as follows

  • FY20 base increase of 2.1% (CPI)
  • FY21 base increase of 1.9% (CPI)
  • FY22 100% of CPI, with a minimum of 1.75% and a maximum of 2.5%
  • FY23 100% of CPI, with a minimum of 1.5% and a maximum of 2.5%
  • FY24 100% of CPI, with a minimum of 1.5% and a maximum of 2.65%

Returning DEC members, who are eligible, continue to move one step on the salary schedule in each of the contract years.

All eligible DEC members will continue to receive a “track movement increase” recognizing continuous learning and additional coursework, participation on school or district committees, and the completion of leadership projects.

Retirement options were identified that allow educators the opportunity to provide District 65 with a three to four year advance notice of their intent to retire. This will assist with the hiring process as well overall salary costs.

In alignment with neighboring districts, District paid health insurance costs will shift from 75% to 80% of the overall cost over the length of the contract.

Collaboration to support the continued implementation of restorative practices in D65 schools and identified supports for educators related to student discipline (in accordance with the new student discipline policy)

Commitment to explore early release options for students that would maximize opportunities for professional learning and collaboration among educators. A recommendation will be made by February 1, 2020 and any changes related to the school calendar will not go into effect until the 2020-2021 school year.

Dear District 65 Community –

Last night, the School Board approved a five-year contract agreement with the Evanston Teacher Assistants Association (ETAA). This agreement signals the district’s commitment to our paraprofessionals and recognizes the important role they play in cultivating our students’ academic and social emotional needs as well as supporting our special education and general education classrooms. In addition, we were able to come to an agreement that will not only help paraprofessionals but will most of all help us to better meet the needs of  children in District 65.

We commend the members of both teams for their collaboration, preparation, willingness to engage in difficult conversations, and professionalism from start to finish. The bargaining teams reached a tentative agreement on May 15 which was later ratified by the ETAA membership with 100% approval by voting members. The five-year agreement provides paraprofessionals in all 18 district schools with increased stability in the coming years.

Both teams agreed to participate in Interest Based Bargaining (IBB), facilitated by federal mediators, to mutually identify and problem-solve issues, interests, and options related to training, professional learning, communication, other working conditions, and compensation. Since December, teams participated in 16 bargaining sessions, in addition to a two-day intensive training. Student needs and ways in which they could be fully supported by paraprofessionals remained at the center of conversations and were continually identified as being most important by ETAA bargaining team members.

Salary was a significant issue that was mutually identified by both teams. The Board’s bargaining team acknowledged early on in the process that paraprofessionals in District 65 were underpaid compared to peer districts and remained committed to addressing this issue as part of this contract negotiation. Our paraprofessionals are extremely valued members of our District 65 community and their compensation was adjusted to reflect the level of care, commitment, and high quality service they dedicate to supporting our students and educators. In addition, it was agreed upon that a joint committee would be established to gather input, based on the needs of the district and in alignment to priorities, to develop focused and sustained professional learning opportunities for paraprofessionals. This will continue to be revisited on an annual basis. 

Contract highlights have been included for your review. Once the review process has been completed by both parties, a final contract will be posted to the District 65 website at

We are incredibly grateful for the commitment of all bargaining team members and for their ability to keep students at the center of the important discussions that took place. We hope that everyone has a relaxing, fun summer!


Paul Goren, Superintendent
Dawn Jackson, ETAA President
Suni Kartha, Board President

FY20-FY24 Contract Highlights

In all contract years, ETAA members will receive a 6% base increase. In addition, all returning paraprofessionals will advance one step on the salary schedule.

In all contract years, eligible ETAA members, who cannot advance step because they are at the end of the salary schedule, will receive a “top step” lump sum bonus (calculated on base) as part of the following tiered schedule:

5.5% (2-7 years of service on top step)

6.5% (8-15 years of service on top step)

8% (16 years or more on top step)