Evanston Schools Consider Collaborative Education

Evanston School

 

Evanston school districts 65 and 202 meet once a year. The elementary and high school districts collaborate on curriculum and scheduling, but on Tuesday night's agenda was the possibility of more.

 

"About a year ago, Governor Quinn made an announcement that he wanted to take the current number of school districts and reduce that down to 300,” ED-RED Executive Director Erika Lindley said.

 

Erika Lindley is the executive director of ED-RED, an advocacy organization for suburban Illinois schools.

 

"I was asked today to come and provide some groundwork for your conversation on school consolidation,” she said.

 

Lindley explained the state initiative Tuesday evening, and the two boards debated their options.

 

“We're not the district that the state had in mind in terms of consolidation, said District 65 Vice president Andrew Pigozzi.

 

The threshold question is would consolidation benefit our students educationally, and then the next question is what would it cost?" asks Jonathan Baum from District 202.

 

Lindley says if the Evanston school districts are interested in consolidation down the road, then they may be out of luck.

 

"Consolidation is an issue that's been around for a long time in Illinois but has only gotten traction once or twice in our history. It wouldn't surprise me if this is one of those things that gets hot for a couple of years and then goes underground for a couple of years...and at that point it could be that the state no longer has incentive money to even help them with that.”

 

But for Tuesday night...it was back to the meeting that only happens once a year.

 

"We may not govern as one now, but we collaborate as if we are one...and that is why we are here tonight,” District 65 President Katie Bailey said.

By Nina Leff

1-23-2012

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