UCF prepares to pass budget

Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board directors will be voting on the 2018-2019 academic year budget when they meet next week. The board will be voting on a plan calling for $87.1 million in spending and revenue with tax increases

The proposed budget includes a weighted average tax increase 1.56 percent: 0.35 percent increase for Chester County property owners and 6.43 percent increase for those in Chadds Ford Township, the only Delaware County municipality in the district. Actual millage rates are 28.51 mils in Chester County and 21.15 mils in Chadds Ford.

District Business manager Bob Cochran said there will be a 2 percent discount for early payment of taxes and a penalty of 7.5 percent if payments are late.

He previously explained that the difference in tax rates between the two counties is based on state regulations — Chadds Ford is required to cover almost 20 percent of the district’s budget — and the differences in how the two counties calculate property assessments.

(A copy of the budget proposal can be found here.)

In other business, Assistant Superintendent of Schools John Nolen told the board about a need to bring back the position of dean of students at Unionville High School. With attendance approaching 1,400, Nolen said, the school qualifies for another assistant principal, but a dean of students would address specific needs at UHS.

He said the school and district administrations agree that with disciplinary and programming concerns, additional help is needed.

The matter was discussed in the fall, but its importance has risen. "This is something we feel is a priority for the coming school year," he said.

Nolen continued by saying they prefer a dean over an assistant principal because "a dean can do most of the things that an assistant principal would be charged to do with the exception of evaluating staff and suspending students. But, a dean can work with administration if a student would need to be suspended."

He added that a dean adds flexibility because if the position is no longer needed, the person can be rolled back into the teaching staff. UHS previously had a dean from 2008 to 2010.

Adding the position would not affect the budget to be voted on next week, according to the business manager. The money would come from not replacing an elementary school teacher who is retiring.

Nolen said school population projections indicate the district would need fewer — possibly 3.5 fewer — elementary school teachers next year. Even if those projections change to needing only one less teacher, "We’re in pretty good shape."

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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