The Phoenixville Area School Board recently announced its 2018-2019 budget. The $91.7 million budget will raise Phoenixville taxes by 3.18%, raising Phoenixville taxes for the average taxpayer by about $127 per year.
This increase is less than the original preliminary budget of $94 million, which would have increased taxes by 4%.
During the Phoenixville Area School Board meeting, only one board member voted against the final budget. At time of writing, Lori Broker had not stated why she voted against the budget.
The budget passed untouched despite eight proposed amendments do it during the meeting. Each of those amendments would have increased the budget even further, and they all failed. Many failed on close 5-4 votes.
Superintendent Alan Fegley reported that although some positions would be cut, the budget won’t lead to the layoff of any teachers or administrators. Most of these positions are currently vacant due to retirements. Cutting these positions and reorganizing the faculty allowed the district to save hundreds of thousands of dollars without dipping into savings.
Other savings came from re-negotiating a contract with the YMCA for fees associated with after-school care. This allows the school district to pay for days that the services were used, rather than paying a flat fee.
Over 50 community members attended the original budget meeting in February, giving the public ample opportunity to learn more about the budgeting process. This also allowed parents to nix suggestions such as increasing class size or reducing maintenance of athletic fields.
The Phoenixville Area School District also noted that Phoenixville taxes are likely to increase again in coming years, thanks to still-growing budget needs.