Avon Grove School Board approves an $85.2 million budget
By Steven Hoffman
The Avon Grove School Board unanimously approved an $85.2 million budget for the 2015-2016 school year at the June 11 meeting.
Taxes are increasing by 2.4 percent, with the millage rate going up .66 mills to 28.157 mills. The impact of a 2.4 percent tax increase equates to about a $149 increase to the tax bill for the owner of a property that has an assessed value of $225,000.
The $85.2 million spending plan represents an increase of more than $3 million over the current year. Nearly half of that increase—approximately $1,485,000—can be attributed to the state-mandated increase in the district’s contribution to the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) fund.
Superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese had previously stated that a goal of some of the initiatives in the spending plan is to boost the performance of students, and to increase their learning opportunities.
The 2015-2016 budget includes funding for the Summer Curriculum Development Institute, as well as curriculum materials for the secondary mathematics program. There is funding for replacing everything from outdated computers to music instruments. The kindergarten staff is being restructured so that the kindergarten teachers will now be full-time and will teach in the morning and afternoon. The district is also looking to restore some of the assistant athletic coaching positions that were eliminated several years ago because of budget restrictions.
In other business at the June 11 meeting, Marchese offered an update about the search for a new high school principal. District officials had hoped to name a new high school principal at this meeting, but the initial round of interviews did not produce a candidate that could be recommended for the position. Therefore, the position has been re-advertised, and the search committee will begin another round of interviews with interested candidates.
The district honored some of the staff members who retired at the end of the school year. The employees combined for more than 200 years of service to the district. The recent retirees include teachers Barbara Boyes, Lois DiVincenzo, Mary Drinker, and Suzanne Truitt; Title I aide Debra Edwards; cafeteria workers Betty Eller, Sharon Miller, and Mary Jane Steele; and special education administrative assistant Marie Mademann; and special education aide Dollie Matalon.