Budget Is Approved; Tax Rate Rises 4.38%

Posted: June 11, 1992

The Tredyffrin/Easttown school board approved a $44.5 million 1992-93 school budget that calls for a 4.38 percent increase in the property tax rate.

For the owner of a property assessed at the district's average of $14,000, the budget will raise school taxes by $81.90 to $1,949.64 under the new millage of 139.26.

In last-minute debate before approving the budget, 6-2, on Monday, the board eliminated $128,000 from the budget, cutting .52 mills. J. Noel Jackson and Donald F. Clarke voted against the budget. Board President Frank E. Allen was not present.

"I supported the budget last year because I thought it was an austere one," Jackson said. "The magnitude of this increase is not in keeping with the economic times we face. . . . I'm just out trying to get the most out of a

dollar, and I don't think this budget does it."

More than 100 teachers, parents and community members attended the meeting. Guy Norcini of Devon said the district should have a $40 million budget for what was necessary.

"There's too much icing in this budget," Norcini said. "I don't think you're hurting education in this township one bit if you adopt a $40 million budget. A year from now the kids won't have lost anything except the icing."

Barbara Alexander of Wayne agreed. "I have to live within my means, and I think the district should live within theirs," she said. Four Alexander children have graduated from Conestoga High School.

But several residents disagreed.

Earl Davis of Paoli said the board had taken steps to reduce the budget and hold the line.

"I don't think the board should succumb to a group of people who say no to a budget increase," Davis said. "I think you should continue the way you are and take the same care for next year."

Barry Yocom, director of curriculum and instruction, and Emil R. Capetola, business manager for the district, outlined what has been eliminated from the budget in the last several years and listed property tax rates over the same period. Of 12 school districts in Chester County, Tredyffrin/Easttown ranks 11th in property tax increases from 1991-92 to 1992-93, Capetola said.

In other business, the board heard a presentation from the architectural firm of Crothers, Daley & Jalboot on proposed additions and refurbishment of the district's five elementary schools.

The board also unanimously approved a 10-cent increase in school lunch prices for 1992-93.

The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24 in the Educational Services Center.

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