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FOIA Gras is a free newsletter run by Tom Hayden that explores various topics in local Evanston Governance, especially around School District 65 (Evanston/Skokie). I publish and share all my data and reports. Subscribing is free, so please subscribe or share!
I’ve recently had a bump in new readers. Welcome! I would like to spend a few minutes just to remind all my readers that I make available documents sourced from District 65 but in a more usable form (ie Excel Docs vs PDFs). I do my best to keep these documents up-to-date as information gets published. I share with you, in the spirit of transparency. If you see anything interesting, please reach out to me or submit a FOIA yourselves. Transparency is a powerful tool to hold elected officials accountable.
District 65 List of Bills / Payments
Every month, the District is required by law to post a list of payments and bills paid during the a prior fiscal period. They’re usually a couple months behind, presumably so they can do accounting reconciliation, etc. I update this document after every board meeting and is updated from January 2021 thru August 2022.
D65 List of Bills (Google Docs)
This document has all bills paid by the District, excluding charges that are “hidden” behind the corporate Mastercard Account. Those you have to FOIA separately and are the subject of a forthcoming post.
District 65 Compensation
This document below has a digitized list of all District 65 employees’ compensation. This is public information governed under the Illinois School Code (5 ILCS 105) and the IL FOIA Statute. I’ve done the work in organizing employees by their job types: teachers, principals, administrators, and IMRF employees. The latter are employed by District 65 but are covered under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). This list only includes IMRF employees making over $75,000. I’ve considered requesting the rest of the list via FOIA but haven’t done so yet.
D65 Compensation (Google Docs)
I’ve also organized this list by school year (SY) so you can compare 2021-22 versus 2022-23. You’ll see that the teacher salaries changed by a fixed rate year to year, they’re governed by the collective bargaining.
Related News and Collective Bargaining
In news related to a prior post on compensation, we’ve seen the first major school district to encounter post-COVID collective bargaining. The Los Angeles School District Teachers staged a protest this week, requesting a 20% pay raise. The current District 65 agreement lasts through the 2023-24 school year. According to the current agreement, negotiations for renewal begin in March 2024 - the current agreement was signed June 10, 2019 (for the 2019-2020 school year), so expect an interesting 2023-24 and 2024-25 school year. The District got lucky with timing, especially given COVID and inflation.
District 65 has requested the maximum permissible tax levy at 5.98%. It seems like they will do the same again next year, given inflation and school construction. The budgets for 2024-25 (and beyond) are currently in the red, so the District Administration will have very little wiggle room in negotiations.