There's a good chance residents who live in the Northern Lehigh School District could see a 2.3-percent increase in their property tax rates next year.

The school board on an 8-0 vote Monday approved a preliminary budget that calls for a 1.5 mill increase in the 2010-11 school year. Director Lauren Ganser was absent.

If granted final adoption, the $29,574,314 preliminary budget would raise the millage rate from 62.873 to 64.373 mills in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

That would mean a person with a home valued at $100,000, and assessed at $50,000, would pay $3,219 in property taxes to the district next year, $75 more than this year's $3,144 rate.

Business manager Jeremy Melber sad three major areas that will impact the district over the next three to five years are a 20-percent increase in health insurance, a 30-percent increase in electricity rates, and retirement contribution rates.

The spike in health insurance in 2010-11 will result in a $401,840 increase to the district's salary and benefit cost center, Melber said.

Also, the district will also see about a 30 percent increase in electricity costs in 2010-11, he said.

Finally, employer contributions for employee retirements are also expected to spike over the next five years, Melber said.

The board could grant final adoption of next year's budget at its May 10 meeting, Melber said. If not, the budget would be adopted at the June 14 meeting, he said.

Last year, the board approved the 2009-10 budget with a .6 mill, or .96 percent, increase.

In other business, the board:

- Announced high school graduation will be held at 7 p.m. June 18 at Bulldog Stadium.

- Approved, on a 7-1 vote, with Director Donald Dengler opposed, the new administrator compensation plan between the school district and the Northern Lehigh Middle Level Management Team.

- Approved to designate fund balance ending June 30, 2009, as unreserved, designated for long range maintenance ($2,200,000); replacement equipment ($1,000,747,00); technology ($740,747); ERIP ($159,275); health insurance premiums ($550,000), PSERS increase ($650,000); agriculture fair ($1,247); electricity rate increase ($250,000); architectural services ($100,000).

- Approved to designate fund balance ending June 30, 2009, as unreserved, undesignated ($2,196,830).

- Approved administration to enter into a Purchase Agreement with Trebron Company, Inc., for the purchase of 1,150 licenses of Sophos End Point Security and Control (Anti-VIrus) Software at a cost of $21,468 for three years with an additional fourth year at no extra charge. The agreement expiration date is Sept. 6, 2014. The cost of the licensing will be distributed over four years at $5,367 per year, which represents a savings to the district of $18,782 over the duration of the agreement versus four single year purchases.

- Authorized the Food Service Director to purchase 10 Point of Sale terminals for use in all district buildings at a cost of $3,339. Funding will come from the Food Service Department.

- Approved to authorize proper officials to ratify a contractual agreement between the district and the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21 to continue the Driver Education Program in the district at a cost of $2,150, effective July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. There is no increase in the cost of the program over last year.

- Approved the appointment of Katherine Kern, temporary vacancy replacement, as a Slatington Elementary 6th grade teacher, replacing a current teacher on family medical leave, at the substitute teacher rate days 1-30; Day 31 and beyond, $41,500 prorated, at the Step 1 Bachelors on the 2009-10 CBA Salary Schedule, effective March 25, 2010, with a termination date on or about June 21, 2010.

- Approved the appointment of Nicholas Sander, temporary vacancy replacement, as a High School Social Studies teacher, replacing a current teacher on family medical leave, at the substitute teacher rate days 1-30, Day 31 and beyond $41,500 prorated, at the Step 1 Bachelors on the 2009-10 CBA Salary Schedule, effective March 22, 2010, upon return of teacher on medical leave.

- Approved the administrative transfer of Dianna Beltran from high school study hall monitor to high school office aide, replacing Kelly Follweiler, who was hired as an administrative secretary, at a salary of $11.16 per hour, 6 1/2 hours per day, five days per week, up to 180 days per school year, effective April 13, 2010.

- Accepted the retirement resignation of Maryann Lucykanish from her position as a Slatington Elementary School 2nd shift custodian, effective the end of the work day, April 30, 2010. At this time, she will begin her retirement from the district after one year and 11 months of service.

- Approved the following substitute teachers for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute teacher rates as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule: Kristy Kratzer, elementary; Samantha Reichard, elementary and special education; Jacqueline Schneider, elementary and ESL; Emily Stephens, art. The appointments of Kratzer and Stephens are pending verification of missing paperwork.

- Approved Lisa Lamon as substitute teacher aide for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rates as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule, and as substitute cafeteria worker for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rate as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule.

- Approved the request of the Northern Lehigh High School Marching Band to travel to Florida and perform at Disney World in the spring from April 18, 2011 through April 23, 2011. There will be no cost to the district for this trip.

- Approved the request of employee #3140 to take a Family Medical Leave beginning on March 22, 2010, for medical reasons. He will be using his accumulated sick and personal days in conjunction with the Family Medical Leave. Upon exhaustion of his Family Medical Leave, he is requested an unpaid leave of absence until he is released from his physician and able to return to his current teaching position.

- Approved the request of employee #2840, to take an unpaid leave of absence beginning on May 15, 2010. She is currently out of work on a Family Medical Leave, which ends on May 14, 2010. She plans to return to her current teaching position on June 1, 2010.

- Approved the request of Janet Millen, Elementary Art Teacher, to take an unpaid leave of absence on March 11-12, 2010, to attend a family commitment. Correspondence received from the Education Association states that this request will not be considered as precedent setting for future requests.

- Approved school board policy #335 - Administrative Employees, Family and Medical Leaves, as presented after first reading.

- Approved school board policy #435 - Professional Employees, Family and Medical Leaves, as presented after first reading.

- Approved school board policy #535 - Classified Employees, Family and Medical Leaves, as presented after first reading.

- Approved school board policy #605 - Finances, Tax Levy, as presented after first reading.

- Approved new school district board policy #113 - Programs - Special Education, as presented after second reading. This policy will replace the district's current policy #113.

- Approved new school district board policy #113.3 - Programs, Screening and Evaluations for Students with Disabilities, as presented after first reading.

- Granted homebound instruction for a 9th grade student, Student No. 1228500, for five hours per week, effective March 8, 2010, and continuing until on or about May 14, 2010.

- Granted homebound instruction for a 10th grade student, Student No. 1270600, for five hours per week, effective April 6, 2010, and continuing until on or about May 24, 2010.

- Agreed to enter into an agreement for two Northern Lehigh School District special education students to attend Salisbury Township School District in accordance with the promises and covenants contained in the agreement. This agreement is effective Sept. 1, 2009 through July 30, 2010.

- Approved the changes to the Northern Lehigh High School Student-Parent Handbook as presented.

- Agreed to publish a legal advertisement to notify every resident or inhabitant within the territorial limits of the school district attaining 18 years of age, and every resident or inhabitant in the district to notify the proper Per Capita Tax Enumerator within 12 months of his or her becoming a resident of inhabitant, in accordance with the School Laws of Pennsylvania, Section 680, as amended June 16, 1972, Act 138. The assessors to the contract are Borough of Walnutport, Annette Lacko, borough secretary, Walnutport Borough Building, 417 Lincoln Ave., Walnutport, Pa 18088, (610) 767-1322; Washington Township, JoAnn Ahner, township secretary, Washington Township Municipal Building, P.O. Box 27, Slatedale, Pa, 18079, (610) 767-8108; and Borough of Slatington, Joan Cheesbrough, assistant secretary, 125 South Walnut Street, Slatington, Pa, 18080, (610) 767-2131.