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Education

Appoquinimink seeks tax hike to support district's growth

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Delaware Public Media
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Voters in the Appoquinimink School District decide Tuesday whether the growing district can raise taxes to pay for an expansion.

 

Three years after their last successful referendum, Appoquinimink School District is looking to raise roughly $36 million through an operating and capital referendum.

The increase in taxes would pay for two new school buildings, a salary increase for staff and instructional technology, among other things. 

Appoquinimink School District Superintendent Matt Burrows says the additional funding is necessary to support a growing student population. 

“We’ve been the fastest growing school district for the last twenty years,” he said. “In this last five year period, we’ve grown 19 percent, almost 1,900 students. And with that growth you have to have some place to put the kids.”

Last year alone, the District gained enough students to fill an elementary school. 

“When we grow 435 students, we earn about fifty new staff members a year,” said Burrows. “Which is great, because when you earn it, the state covers 65 percent of the cost and then locally you cover 35 percent and then other employee costs associated with that. Last year alone that cost us $1.3 million, just for the new employees.”

Burrows says the District has also dealt with budget cuts from the state in recent years.

Burrows says if the referendum passes, the average district homeowner would pay an additional $21 per month in taxes.

 

Polls are open 7am to 8pm Tuesday.

 

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