June 30, 2020
School Board approves final budget and tax rate
The Upper St. Clair School Board approved the 2020-21 final budget totaling $87,799,219 during its meeting on Monday, June 29, 2020. The final budget includes a 1.97 percent millage increase of 0.5197 mills – resulting in a final millage rate of 26.8972 mills.
The annual tax impact of the increase on a $265,000 home, the average assessed home in Upper St. Clair, is $137.72 or $11.48 per month. (To calculate the impact on a specific property value, multiply the property’s county assessed value by 0.0005197.)
Throughout the budgeting process, the administrative team and school board embraced the theme, “Sustaining Excellence” as they navigated challenges that included rising fixed costs, substantial revenue losses and continued uncertainty due to COVID-19.
The final budget includes staff reductions across various employee groups totaling 10.5 positions. Substantial cuts – totaling more than $800,000 – have been made to the professional development, technology, operations and supplies budgets. In addition, all district administrators volunteered to take a pay freeze.
“These difficult decisions have resulted in an expenditure reduction of $1.7 million and enable us to deliver a final budget that safeguards our educational programs,” Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent of schools, said, “We made many difficult decisions throughout this budget process that balanced our fiduciary responsibilities to the community with our educational responsibilities to our students.”
In addition to preserving the district’s educational programs, the 2020-21 budget allows for the district to expand technology access for students. Currently all students in grades five through 12 are provided an iPad or Chromebook. During the upcoming school year, all Upper St. Clair students will be issued a district device to further support educational continuity.
With a 1.97 percent millage increase, Upper St. Clair falls well below the maximum 2.6 percent inflationary index established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
“This budget was passed without compromising the future financial stability of the district,” Dr. Rozzo said. “The 2019-20 and 2020-21 budgets yielded the two lowest tax increases in over a decade, while at the same time Upper St. Clair has been recognized as the top performing district by the Pittsburgh Business Times.”
The 2020-21 final budget is available on the district’s website and at the district’s administration building, 1775 McLaughlin Run Road.