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Liberty-Eylau Independent School District's Board of Trustees will meet at 6 p.m. today to hold a public hearing on the 2018-19 budget and tax rate.

The budget is based on the 2018 estimated property tax values of $561,699,844, with a maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.17 per $100 in appraised value and a debt service rate of $.20.

The proposed budget shows $26,358,337 in estimated revenue and $31,945,027 in estimated expenses, leaving a deficit of $5,586,690. The district has $5.7 million in a construction fund, which trustees will consider applying to the deficit. If approved, those funds would be used for the purchase of equipment, maintenance, renovation and construction of district facilities.

The budget numbers are still at the preliminary stages, as exact numbers will not be available from the Bowie County Appraisal District until July 25.

The budget also includes a teacher step increase, a $500 increase for teachers at the top of the pay scale and a 3 percent increase for employees not covered under a step pay scale.

Trustees will also consider the purchase of a video board to attach to the current football scoreboard at Harris Field. The board costs $285,282.50, and Farmers Bank & Trust has agreed to loan the district the funds for the purchase. Advertisements are being sold for the board to offset the purchase price.

An executive session is also planned to consider personnel, including the evaluation of Superintendent Ronnie Thompson's contract.

The meeting will be held in the Board Room, 2901 Leopard Drive, Texarkana, Texas.

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