WEST GROVE, PA — On Tuesday, May 11, Avon Grove School District (AGSD) conducted its final Committee of the Whole (COW) Budget Work Session for the 2020-2021 school year and announced a tax increase of 2.48%, its lowest tax increase since the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The final adoption of the 2021-2022 General Fund Budget is scheduled to occur at the Legislative Meeting on June 3, 2021.
The District is keeping its operational budget as flat as possible while taking on new debt for the Avon Grove High School (AGHS) construction project. Excluding programs funded by new federal grants designed to address the instructional impact of the pandemic, operational expenditures increased $1.6 million, or 1.6%, from the 2020-2021 budget. Of this $1.6 million increase, nearly $1.4 million is related to the increase in debt service payments for the high school construction project. The third and final issuance of the debt is tentatively scheduled to be executed in the first half of 2022. Due to favorable borrowing rates on AGSD’s first two bond offerings, the tax millage required to support the project has been less than anticipated.
AGSD is planning a full return to in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year and will be focused on accelerating the growth of its students utilizing a system of scaffolded supports. School faculty will be bolstered with additional instructional specialists; behavioral specialists; an additional school psychologist and school counselor; and a myriad of other resources intentionally designed to foster student achievement. To finance these additional supports, AGSD is relying on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds provided by the federal government.
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