Good morning, Evanston.
The District 202 School Board approved a tentative budget of $85.6 million for the 2021-2022 school year (FY’22), 7.4% higher than the budget for FY’21. The increase looks higher than the typical increase of 2 to 3% due to a lower level of spending in FY’21 – expenses were lower than normal due to the pandemic and remote learning. And the budget in FY’22 includes a one-time federal grant of $2.3 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.
District Chief Financial Officer Mary Rodino explained that excluding these two factors, expenses are expected to increase modestly. “I don’t want you to have any sticker shock when we see the increase in percentages. It’s a really a very moderate increase in all areas.”
Property taxes – which are subject to tax caps – are the largest source of funding, accounting for 83% of the District’s operating expenses. Property tax revenues are projected to increase by 3% over the amount budgeted for FY’21. Salaries and benefits are the largest expense item, accounting for 76% of operating expenses and are expected to increase 5.7%.
Administrators plan to update the budget with more current information in August or early September. The Board is scheduled to approve a final budget on Sept. 13.
Library Tech Assistants Offer a Helping Hand. The Evanston Public Library tech desk, part of the Innovation and Digital Learning department, has always been on the front lines of service to the community. Located on the Main Library’s third floor, the tech desk team assists patrons in using the computers, printers, and other technological services available to them.
But beyond this role, the tech desk staff also help patrons tackle more general problems, connect to vital services, or even just talk things out when needed. Last year, the pandemic interrupted this important function of the team’s work, but now that things are back in person and health guidelines are gradually loosening, the library tech desk is back and more essential than ever.
Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website
Beloved Coach Scott Horne Takes His Talents to the Georgetown Basketball Team. As a three-point champion in Evanston’s FAAM (Fellowship for Afro-American Men) basketball program, a star player at Evanston Township High School, a basketball coach at ETHS, and program manager at Chandler-Newberger Recreation Center, Coach Scott Horne is a household name across the Evanston basketball community. He is now making his mark with the Georgetown basketball team.
COVID-19 Update on June 28: No New Cases in Evanston, 271 in the State. Evanston reported no new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents yesterday and Sunday and just one case on Saturday. There has been a total of 4,654 COVID-19 cases among Evanston residents during the pandemic; only three cases are active today. No Evanstonian has died from COVID-19 since May 31. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 118.
Justin Wynn Fund: Out of Grief Comes Community Service. In 1987 the family of fourth-grader Justin Wynn created an organization to honor his memory and to turn the tragedy of his early and accidental death into a legacy of youth leadership. Since the first annual Awards Brunch, the Justin Wynn Fund, through its Justin Wynn Leadership Academy, has now mentored 636 youths in fourth through 12th grades. The JWLA continues to develop programs and leadership opportunities to fulfill its stated mission to “celebrate and nurture youth leaders by helping them develop a deep sense of self and responsibility for improving their communities.”
Around the Web
- Chicago Botanic Garden to charge ‘per person’ admission beginning in 2022. Ticket prices will range from $9.95 to $25.95 per person, and the parking fee will drop to $8. The change is expected to add $2 million per year to garden coffers.
- Where to Watch Fourth of July Fireworks in Chicago Suburbs. The City of Evanston has canceled its fireworks show this year, but if you are willing to drive a few miles north or west, there are firework displays to watch.
- What to know about the Delta variant in Illinois. Experts say the Delta variant spreads more easily, but local health officials are unconcerned.
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