ANGLETON — The Angleton ISD board of trustees adopted a $1.38 per $100 of appraised property tax rate, a seven-cent reduction from last year and approved the school’s 2019-20 budget.

“We spend time reviewing how our expenditures affect student achievement,” Superintendent Phil Edwards said in a letter to the board. “Decisions are made based upon the available resources and the needs of our students.”

Though Edwards said House Bill 3, a piece of new legislation that specifies how certain funds are to be allocated, made parts of the budget process challenging, he said he’s pleased with what they’ve been able to do with the funding.

“We believe that, operating within the constraints put upon us by this legislature, this budget furthers those priorities which are established by this board of education,” Edwards said.

The Brazoria County Appraisal District’s chief appraiser, Cheryl Evans, certified that the total net value of appraised property for the district was $3,419,287,557. Total revenue expected for the district’s general fund is $70,534,000, approximately $11 million or 19 percent more than last year’s revenues.

The maintenance and operations portion of the budget also increased by 7.2 percent, which Board President Regina Bieri and Board Secretary Dana Tolbert asserted would raise more taxes than last year’s budget in a tax rate ordinance statement.

The district was able to add 26 new staff members, including a dyslexia coordinator, three dyslexia interventionists, six elementary intervention teachers, six secondary CTE teachers, a Spanish teacher, aquatic coordinator, college and career readiness coordinator, two special education coordinators and two diagnosticians.

Edwards said he’s also finishing up a bond campaign, or talking to the community about the proposed $90 million bond project, for improvements to the schools including a brand new CTE building.

The bond will go to election in November and if passed, won’t raise the tax rate, Edwards said.

Also discussed at the meeting last month was how to implement college readiness into schools earlier and prepare students for their future.

Assistant Superintendent Adam Stephens presented a plan to make sure all Angleton seniors are ready for a career, college or military service when they leave.

“We want to align career outcomes and goals,” Stephens said at the meeting. “How are we holding schools and districts accountable?”

Stephens addressed how the district plans to encourage each student to align with a career path, whether that’s college, military or some other technical trade.

Stephens said 55 percent of Angleton students met the college readiness criteria for 2018-19 with a projected 60 percent of students meeting it this school year. For the 2020-21 school year, Stephens said that number should rise to 85 percent.

Courtney Blackann is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0152.

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