No tax increase in proposed school budget

Milford. Superintendent John Bell says the school is looking to restore kindergarten and fourth grade sections cut last year.

| 23 Apr 2021 | 08:15

The Delaware Valley school board unveiled a draft $87.4 million budget that calls for no increases in taxes.

The 2021-22 budget was presented on April 15. The district’s business administrator, William Hessling, said salaries make up about 46 percent of the budget and benefits about 34 percent. Together they make up about 80 percent of the total budget.

Hessling said that ratio could be upset by the money the district received from the American Rescue Plan recently passed by the federal government, since the cafeteria expansion project approved by the school board will be included in the budget (see related story on page 2).

The proposed budget calls for raising $50 million from local revenue, with $33.5 million to be made up from state revenue and the remainder from federal revenue.

Superintendent John Bell said the district trimmed positions last spring to balance the budget.

Shohola Elementary School was cut down to two kindergarten sections, the fourth grade at Dingman Delaware Elementary School to six sections, and a physical education teacher to half-time.

“Now we’re looking to put those back in because we’re forecasting what enrollment is going to look like,” Superintendent John Bell said. “We need that kindergarten, and we need that fourth grade at Dingman’s Elementary.”

Bell said the population at Dingman Delaware Primary School is the biggest and is expected to ripple through into the future.

The district also needs an instructional assistant in the Delaware Valley High School library.

The budget does not include state aid increases. The district is still waiting to learn what its 2021-22 state aid figures will look like.