Once again this year, the Freeport Board of Education and school administration found a way to hold the line on the tax levy while maintaining and expanding services for students in the district. At the same time, the district is going all in on STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Math — education.
Thus, the Herald enthusiastically endorses the 2019-2020 Freeport School District budget and encourages voters to show their support by voting “yes.”
Freeport officials have proposed a $184 million 2019-20 budget. It is 2.74 percent larger than the current spending plan. Officials have been developing the school budget for months and should be applauded for their efforts to propose a budget that lowers the tax levy for the fifth straight year. The tax levy — the total amount that the district must collect in taxes to meet expenses — has decreased seven of the last 12 years, and in the last 12 years, the annual levy increase average has been about 1.15 percent.
District officials should also be commended for their strong focus on after-school programs, Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment courses, and the addition of new staff.