Skokie Voice to hold second education forum
Last year's Skokie Voice forum on education featured high-ranking administrators from almost all Skokie school districts sharing the stage for a provocative discussion. The second forum is set for Nov. 15. | Mike Isaacs~Sun-Times Media
If You Go
What: Skokie Voice Education Forum
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 15
Where: Oakton Community Center, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie,
Scheduled to appear: Skokie School District 68 Assistant Superintendent of Business Beth Millard; Skokie School District 69 Superintendent Quintin Shepherd; Fairview South District 72 Business Manager Jeff Feyerer; District 73 and District 73.5 Business Manager Cyndi Cohen; Niles Township High School District 219 Superintendent Nanciann Gatta; Evanston District 65 Chief Financial Officer Dr. Mary Brown; and Evanston Township High School District 202 Chief Financial Officer William Stafford.
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:28AM
SKOKIE — Last year, administrators from every school district in Skokie took the same stage to address a myriad of education issues posed by the public.
Skokie Voice, a residents’ association and its subcommittee on education, was responsible for the unique panel.
The second education forum, scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Oakton Community Center, will have many business managers joining other administrators on the panel. Gary Dolinko, chairman of the education subcommittee, said the forum will focus on finances, although audience members can ask any question about education.
“People are hurting and most of their taxes go to schools,” Dolinko said. “People want to know if they’re getting the best bang for their buck and want that explanation.”
Some districts will have business managers on the panel, others superintendents. But superintendents not on the panel will likely be in the audience and available for questions as well.
“After the success of last year’s Skokie Voice schools forum, the Skokie school districts all agreed to join us again publicly to address the issue of how our tax dollars are utilized by our school communities to provide quality education to Skokie families,” Skokie Voice Chairwoman Lisa Lipin said.
Lipin said those in attendance have the opportunity to better understand various revenue sources, the tax levy process and implications for property owners and businesses. The forum will also provide information on school budgets and how districts spend tax dollars.
Superintendents and business managers will first present an overview before responding to questions during an open-mike session.
The forum in 2011 brought out more than 100 people to hear about school issues. Dolinko believes there will be even more in attendance.
Many school districts are faced with dwindling state aid, the Cook County property tax cap and a recession that has generated less property tax revenue. Balancing budgets has become more difficult.
In addition to educators, the panel will include Niles Township Assessor Scott Bagnall, who will provide more insight about the relationship between taxes and school funding.