Lake County's School District 121 receives long-sought tax hike

Warren Township High School District 121 to get more funding
Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) Voters in Warren Township High School District 121 approved a tax increase on Tuesday that will generate $13.25 million each year.

It’s the first time the Lake County school district has seen a successful referendum in 20 years.

Unofficial results showed 53% of voters (7,260) approved the measure, which will increase property taxes by 60 cents per $100 of taxable assessed value.

That means the owner of a $250,000 home will pay about $500 more each year.

Over the last several years, District 121 cut roughly 80 staffing positions due to a lack of funding and also planned to eliminate the entry-level athletic team for all sports beginning the fall of 2022.

With the approved tax increase, though, District 121 said it would be able to preserve a slew of opportunities for its students. These include: Advanced Placement courses, band, choir, drama, and athletic programming across all grade levels.

District officials added that some opportunities would be immediately reinstated, including the O’Plaine Campus postsecondary counseling services and the district’s competitive marching band. WTHS’s band director position will also be reinstated.

Student registration prices are poised to drop from $545 per student to $200 per student for the next school year.

“We would like to thank our community for the productive and thoughtful conversations we have had over the past several months,” Superintendent of Schools John Ahlgrim said in a statement. “Through our informational meetings and other engagement opportunities, we had the chance to hear a wide range of perspectives and answer questions.”

“It is clear that we live in a community that invests in our schools and the students we serve,” Ahlgrim said.

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