2021-2022 Proposed Final Operating Budget Adoption
Hatboro-Horsham School Board Approves 2021-2022 Proposed Final Operating Budget:
The Hatboro-Horsham School Board approved the 2021-2022 School Year Proposed Final Budget at its May 17th, 2021 School Board meeting, a spending plan that will continue to help the district provide high quality education programs at a reasonable cost to the community.
Like most years since the inception of Act 1, balancing the budget within the Act 1 index has been very challenging. Uncertainties with the economic impact and increase in costs related to the impact of the COVID-19 Virus, significant increases in special education costs, staffing recruitment and substitute shortage challenges, salary cost increases, charter school and pension cost increases, and reductions in revenue sources such as earnings on investments and Before and After Care programs are just a few areas that have made the budget balancing process very challenging.
With a lot of hard work on the part of our staff and a commitment to educational excellence and fiscal responsibility from our School Board coupled with a continuous commitment to prioritization of need, effective re-allocation of existing resources, value based decision making and a consistent effort to implement strategies that improve efficiency and reduce costs, we have been able to pass a proposed final budget that enhances our educational programs, improves services to our students, parents and the community and provides resources necessary to maintain and improve our facilities while addressing continuing financial impacts from the COVID-19 virus.
Since the inception of Act 1 in 2007, the Board of School Directors have balanced the budget within the limits of the base Act 1 Index without seeking exceptions. Over the past fifteen years, the average annual tax increase has been limited to 2.2% which is below the average base index of 2.59%. This year, under the terms of Act 1, all school districts were required to keep their tax increases at or below a state index, which was set at 3.0%. Districts that needed to go above that index could seek exceptions or voter approval to do so. Through continued conservative fiscal management and with the assistance of federal COVID relief grant funding, Hatboro-Horsham was able to keep its proposed increase at 2.05%.
The Proposed Final 2021-2022 spending plan totals $115,003,164 an increase of $2,592,230 (2.3%) from last year’s budget. To balance the Proposed Final Budget, the School Board agreed to raise the millage rate from 30.024 to 30.64, an increase of 2.05% percent. The School Board directed the Administrative Team to continue to review the budget for opportunities for additional cost reductions and increases in revenue and fund transfers to be able to minimize the budget increase even further as we move toward final budget adoption in June 2021. The new millage rate under the approved Proposed Final Budget will mean the average Hatboro taxpayer’s real estate bill will go up by about $74.61 while the average Horsham taxpayer’s real estate bill will go up by about $112.12. The increase for every $100,000 in assessed property value will be about $61.60.
The School Board will consider the approval of the Final Budget at the June 21, 2021 School Board Meeting.