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Chester County Press

Avon Grove budget for 2019-2020 is starting to take shape

03/05/2019 03:20PM ● By Steven Hoffman

There are still a few months until the Avon Grove School Board adopts a final budget for the 2019-2020 school year, and work on the spending plan is starting to intensify as more concrete budget figures are becoming available.

At a recent budget presentation, the expenditures for the 2019-2020 budget were projected to be $98,847,682—an increase of more than $1.9 million over the current year’s budget.

The district is embarking on the construction of a new high school, which will have a significant impact on the budget in the years to come.

For the 2019-2020 school year, Avon Grove is in the fortunate position of having year-to-year revenues rise by about $2 million because the total assessed values of properties in the district are increasing. That gives the school district a cushion to offset some of the inevitable cost increases.

The year-to-year revenue increase isn’t the only good news for Avon Grove: the district’s return on investments is higher than what was budgeted for the 2018-2019 school year. The district earned about $650,000 on investments, approximately $150,000 more than what was budgeted.

The basic education subsidy that the district receives from the state for 2018-2019 is also about $140,000 more than what was budgeted—$15,240,000, compared to the budgeted $15,100,000. The district’s medical insurance costs came in about $1 million lower than budgeted. All this is good news for the district as officials prepare the 2019-2020 budget.

The school board already approved an opt-out resolution that guarantees that the district will remain under the Act 1 Index limit—the maximum percentage that a Pennsylvania school district can increase taxes without seeking approval from residents through a referendum. The Act 1 Index limit for 2019-2020 is 2.3 percent, and Avon Grove’s adjusted Act 1 Index limit is 3 percent. The millage tax rate stands at 30.690 mills for the 2018-2019 school year.

A committee-of-the-whole meeting to specifically discuss the budget is set for Tuesday, March 12, and other meetings will follow as the budget takes shape. Adoption of a proposed final budget is set for April 25, and a final budget is expected to be approved at a school board meeting on June 6.

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