Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

It may be early in the day, but we need to discuss numbers. The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 budget projections for the end the 2022 fiscal year, show a surplus of $373,300, more than expected. But there are significant swings in some of the revenues and expenses, according to a RoundTable analysis of the budget report presented by the District’s Business Manager earlier this week. True, there are a lot of ups and downs to absorb. But here are a few points about the upcoming fiscal year (FY’23) and salaries, which are 79% of the District’s operating expenses:

  • Salaries and benefits are budgeted at about $2.2 million more than the actual salaries for the year before, while benefits are up about $700,000.
  • Yet, there will also be a $1.6 million savings in salaries, due to a reduction of 23 teaching positions made via natural attrition and declining student enrollment.
  • Last year, there was a salary freeze for administrators and certain staff but in the upcoming year administrators and certain other staff are budgeted to receive a 3% increase.

See for yourself: Take a look at the RoundTable’s deep dive into the spreadsheets.


COVID-19 by the numbers: 22 cases were reported on Monday, June 6, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 37.9 cases per day.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Submitted

Rules committee supports ranked-choice ballots and keeping Evanston’s form of government. In case you’ve heard rumors about Evanston changing its current form of government – council-manager – there is not much support for the idea from the City Council. Council members were clear in the message they sent to Evanston residents. Additionally, the committee voted to bring ranked-choice ballots before the council for a vote, which if passed would make Evanston the first city in Illinois to adopt the measure. 

Dewey principal: ‘Need to create stronger community’ at school. At Tuesday afternoon’s meeting of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Curriculum and Policy Committee, school board members discussed alleged abuse directed at Dewey Elementary School Principal Kimberly Watson from parents and families at the school. Watson, who had been on leave and returned for the last three days of the school year, said she recognized the need for better communication and more visibility at the school. But Board Member Anya Tanyavutti said “there is some inherited culture and climate of dysfunction and abuse” at Dewey that already existed when Watson took over as principal in the fall of 2021. 


Chute Middle School students walk out to support gun control laws. Hundreds of students at Chute Middle School walked out of class Tuesday to protest gun violence and support government restrictions on the sale and use of guns.


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Committee passes series of regulation amendments brought by Reid. The City Council’s Human Services Committee on Monday night approved several amendments to city regulations and codes aimed at decreasing potentially negative interactions between Evanston residents and law enforcement.


At This Time: Tuesday at 7:12 p.m. The Surabhi Ensemble performs the first Evanston Starlight Concert of the year. More than 100 people attended at the Arrington Lagoon near the lake. The Chicago-based group combines Arabic, African, Indian and Spanish music with flamenco and Indian dancing. “Our mission is less fear, less hate, more love so we can live as one family,” said founder Saraswathi Ranganathan. The free series continues at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays throughout the city. (Photo by Richard Cahan)


Sweet spring. Spring is finally back, as if winter and summer have agreed, reluctantly, to pull aside the curtain and reintroduce us to this most delicious time of year. Even foreshortened, spring is fantastic, when nature reveals her most astonishing displays of vernal plenitude, writes RoundTable columnist Les Jacobson.


Picturing Evanston. The alleys of Evanston provide surprising and picturesque views, like this one in the alley between Florence Avenue and Ashland Avenue south of Greenleaf Street. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Learning Bridge Early Education Center names Byes next Executive Director. An experienced and highly qualified educator and administrator, Laura Byes has begun the transition and onboarding as of June 1. She will fully assume her new role as of July 1, succeeding Lindsay Percival, who has served as Executive Director since 2011. 


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Around the web

Illinois is routinely housing wards of the state in Chicago’s jail for kids. Last year, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wrongfully left at least 84 minors in juvenile detention centers even after a judge had ordered their release, WBEZ Chicago reports. The department said it has nowhere else to house the children.

‘Absolutely Bonkers’ Gas Prices Are Breaking Records — And There’s No End In Sight, Expert Says. The average price of a gallon of gas in Chicago has reached a record high every single day since May 27, hitting $5.76 on June 7. Some stations are selling gas this week for over $6.50 a gallon.

Jan. 6 Hearings Give Democrats a Chance to Recast Midterm Message. The first of six investigative hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will be televised live across the country on Thursday evening. Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate are hoping to use the opportunity to send a winning message for the 2022 midterm elections.


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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...