NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — The Unit 5 Board of Education announced Monday that they will hold a special meeting this week to consider placing a budget referendum on the ballot in the upcoming April election.

The meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. at the 1809 W. Hovey, will discuss whether Unit 5 should allow residents to vote on raising the existing tax rate to benefit the school district.

The McClean County school district is currently nearly $12 million in debt.

According to a press release from the school district, Unit 5 maintains the lowest education tax rate in the area. However, a budget deficit has grown over the past few years, despite Unit 5’s $2 million in reductions over the past year.

District leadership’s press release said that a referendum would actually decrease the tax rate in the long term, as well as keeping class sizes down and preventing cuts to staff and programs.

If the referendum were to pass, the average tax cut would be $420 per year per household over the next three years.