EAST MARLBOROUGH — Taxpayers in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District will pay more than $200 more on average per year if the district’s proposed budget passes next month.
This week, principals passed a proposed operating budget of $85.4 million, with a 30.7 mill tax rate for Chester County property owners and a 15 mill tax rate. .9 mills for landowners in Delaware County. If passed, Chester County taxpayers will pay an additional $220 per year and Delaware County taxpayers will pay an additional $247 per year. A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. The rate difference reflects how Chester and Delaware counties rate property values.
The district’s budget falls within the state-mandated Act 1 index of 3.4 percent.
Joe Deady, chief financial officer, told principals the numbers “may change favourably” before final adoption.
Salaries and wages, budgeted at $43.8 million, take up the bulk of the budget. This is an increase of 2.9% over last year. Benefits are budgeted at $942,358, an increase of 3.5% over last year. Much of the budget is based on enrollment projections, and enrollment is expected to be 4,876, down slightly from 4,000 in the 2017-18 school year.
Special education funding in February of this year was $1.8 million, up 6.8% from the same time last year. For comparison, neighboring Avon Grove School District allocated $3.3 million, Kennett Consolidated $2 million, and West Chester Area School District $5.5 million for the same period for the special education.
The district is budgeting $69,000 to fill newly created positions.
The district’s health and safety plan is largely unchanged. The potential changes only test symptomatic staff and students and reduce quarantine times to five days, down from 10.
The budget is to be adopted at a public meeting on June 20.