The Appoquinimink School District's two-part referendum will be going to vote Thursday, Feb. 28.
The referendum, which has been met with mixed feelings by area residents, was designed to address the more than $4 million in state funding cuts suffered by the district.
Since 2008, the state has been cutting deeper and deeper into its education budget. Appoquinimink's enrollment has increased by 17 percent since then, with discretionary funding decreasing by 10 percent per student.
The district has been relying on its reserve funds and on cutting operational and program expenses since then, but district officials are saying that they can no longer cover the shortfall while maintaining existing programs and operations.
If the referendum passes, taxes will increase.
If it doesn't, the district said that it will have to make drastic cuts in classroom spending.
Part One – Operating Expenses
If passed, school taxes will increase by 24 cents per $100 assessed home value in 2013, with an average increase of $19.05 per month. This means a $228.64 increase for the year of 2013.
In 2014, taxes will increase an additional 4 cents per $100 assessed value, averaging $21.97 per month and $263.64 for the year.
In 2015, taxes will increase 4 cents more per $100 assessed home value, averaging $24.88 per month and $298.64 for the year.
The step increase ends in 2016 with taxes rising an additional 3 cents from the previous year, averaging a total increase of $27.07 per month and $324.89 annually.
The average home in the district is valued at $285,500 and assessed at $87,500 for tax purposes.
The second part of the referendum, which will introduce sports to the district's middle schools, can only pass if Part One passes. If both pass, the second part will add an additional 2.13 cents per $100 assessed home value in 2013. The second part is not a step increase. To get a total average figure, add 2.13 cents to the Part One expense increase.