Unionville-Chadds Ford School District discusses budget for 2021-202205/04/2021 12:12PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board is expected to approve its 2021-2022 proposed final budget at its May 17 meeting.
Following that vote, the budget will be available for public review before the final version is voted on at the board’s June 21 meeting.
The proposed budget was presented to the public at a special budget meeting on May 3.
“This is not necessarily an even budget year,” said Superintendent John Sanville, citing a number of stressors to the 2021-2022 budget, like the end of salary freezes for support staff and Act 93 administrators, a current budget with no tax increase, the continuing development of a virtual academy, and more.
Under the proposed budget, the real estate tax millage rate for Chester County residents could be around 29.96 mills. The current millage rate for Chester County residents is 29.07 mills. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value. Millage for Delaware County residents who are part of the district could be around 15.46 mills, which would reflect the recent reassessment of properties in that county.
Bob Cochran, the district’s director of business and operations, explained that the amount of real estate taxes required starts with figuring out the expenditures for 2021-2022.
Then, said Joe Deady, the district’s supervisor of accounting, they look at all the expected revenue except the real estate taxes. What’s left, he said, is then split between Chester and Delaware counties to come up with the tax rates.
About 20 percent of the required real estate taxes come from Delaware County, while the remaining 79.9 percent is from Chester County.
In the proposed final budget for 2021-2022, increases in expenses over the current year include an additional $1.67 million in salaries and wages, $1.05 million in benefits, $150,000 in fuels and utilities, and $150,000 for things like the virtual academy, the intermediate unit, and occupational education expenses.
Sanville said there will be a 10-percent decrease among some expenditures – such as curriculum and instruction, human resources, transportation, and debt service, among other areas. These decreases are designed to help keep the budget within the Act 1 maximum tax increase limit of 3 percent and to also keep the spending plan “level funded.”
The largest expenditures in the $92.9 million budget are salaries and benefits, which account for about 73 percent of the budget, said Deady.
More information about the budget hearing can be found on the school board’s website at ucfsd.org/board.