“We strive every year to pass an operating budget that supports our students’ successes while respecting our taxpayers to truly provide fiscal stability and fuel our growth,” said Dayle Ferguson, Board president. “While state and federal funds continue to lag, it is our local taxpayers, our neighbors and businesses, who fund our high-achieving, well-rounded School District. Our annual local growth essentially serves as an organic tax increase without asking our taxpayers to contribute more. And it allows the District to responsibly live within its means.”
The budget is 4.3 percent ($2.3 million) higher than the 2018-2019 budget of $49.9 million. District revenue from local, state and federal sources is anticipated to net a $1.9 million increase and will be used to offset expense increases. $1.4 million of the increase in revenues is from local sources.
The increase in state support is $501,748, $360,964 of which is from the rise in the mandatory pension contribution for the 2019-2020 School Year. Single-digit percentage increases in the pension contribution rate are anticipated for future years unless a legislative solution at the state level is achieved.
The budget addresses growth in elementary class sizes through the addition of one (1) additional elementary teacher; and, increases staffing in the District’s Special Education Department, adding five (5) full-time and two (2) part-time special education teachers, five (5) paraprofessionals, one (1) social worker, and one (1) school psychologist. The budget also includes funding to hire three (3) school police officers who will work alongside two (2) designated Adams Township officers in the District’s buildings every day; and, monies are earmarked for curriculum materials and instructional tools for the District’s K-12 mathematics program.
“This budget sustains all of our existing academic programs as well as teachers’ notable investments to address class size; update curriculum resources and material in the area of mathematics; continues to grow special education and student support services; and enhances the District’s safety and security profile,” said Ferguson.