Sussex Tech’s financial future dominates coffee discussion

SEAFORD – The fate of a large tax increase sought by Sussex Technical High School dominated discussion at State Rep. Danny Short’s April coffee meeting Wednesday.

The countywide vocational district needs General Assembly approval for its proposal to increase taxes by 114 percent over six years.

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Sussex County’s state lawmakers have been in discussions over how to address Sussex Tech’s funding issues.

District officials say they need the revenue to finance their enrollment expansion plan and avoid layoffs.

School officials began aggressively expanding the student body four years ago.  In Fiscal 2011, the school had 1,295 students.  Today, the school serves 1,545 students.

Rep. Short said over the same period, Sussex Tech officials have spent down the school’s cash reserves, which fell from $5.17 million in FY 2011 to approximately $1.25 million in the current budget year.

Sussex County’s state lawmakers have been in discussions over how to address the school’s funding issues.

“This is one of the toughest situations we’ve had to deal with,” Rep. Short said, adding that he expects lawmakers to act later this month.

The one-hour “Coffee with Danny” meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at the Pizza King Restaurant in Seaford beginning at 8 a.m.

The next meeting is set for Wednesday, May 6.

Editor’s Note: Information in this article was provided by Joe Fulgham, Communications Officer Delaware House of Representatives Minority Caucus.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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