How would you fill a $10 million hole?

PageLines- HomePage_budget.jpgThis basic question echoes the one from last year that put all of the related arts classes (art, music, physical education, and library) at the elementary schools on the chopping block, reduced staff positions at every level, and left our community struggling to heal. The difference this budget season is that the District is asking for your input as a community member as it weighs its options to close this gap. It is important to realize that the decisions our District makes now will have ramifications that extend beyond the 2013-2014 school year.

Everyone knows that solving this budget crisis will not be easy.
A property tax increase of up to 8.7 percent is one proposed solution; cuts to school programs and services must also be considered. When the budget does not provide adequate funding for the basic education program, student academic performance suffers and property values erode. Discussing these funding issues now, and working to plan for the future, is the only way to try to stay both fiscally and academically sound, and safeguard the long-term health of our communities.

Let your voice be heard.
Over the next few weeks, the Upper Darby School District is holding four community forums across the district. During the forums, residents can offer their ideas to responsibly close this budget gap and discuss what matters to all of us as stakeholders within our community.

The forums are sponsored by the Penn Project for Civic Engagement through the University of Pennsylvania. For more information on how your voice can be part of this year’s budget process, please check out the following article from the Penn Project for Civic Engagement that UDSD has engaged to involve the community in budget decisions for next year.

Tight Times, Tough Choices: Community Input into the District Budget

Residents of Upper Darby School District are invited to participate in
workshops about how to close an anticipated gap in the 2013 – 2014
school district budget. These workshops offer a chance to learn more
about the District budget, work through different ways of balancing the
District budget, identify tensions and trade-offs in the budgeting
process and develop ways to address those tensions and trade-offs. The
results of these forums will include residents’ priorities, a sense of
the trade-offs among them and a set of values-based principles to help
guide decision-making. The School Board/Administration has agreed to
respond to the community by reporting how they used the forums in their

Schedule of Community Budget Forums
Registration starts 30 minutes before each Forum. All residents of Upper Darby Township are encouraged to attend one or more of the Penn Project for
Civic Engagement’s Community Forums.

Wednesday, Feb. 27
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Watkins Senior Center
326 Watkins Avenue
Upper Darby, PA 19082

Tuesday, Mar. 5
7 p.m. – 9:30p.m.
Beverly Hills Middle School
1400 Garrett Road
Upper Darby, PA 19082

Sunday, Mar. 10
3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Drexel Hill Middle School
3001 State Road
Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Monday, Mar. 11
7 p.m. – 9:30p.m.
Westbrook Park Elementary School
199 Westbrook Drive
Clifton Heights, PA 19018 (edit)

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