The Tamaqua Area School District has approved its share of the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29's 2012 Administrative and Program budget.

The district's board of education gave its approval during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening. The vote was 7-0, with Directors EIleen Meiser and Aaron Frantz absent.

Superintendent Carol Makuta said last week the I.U.'s budget for 2011-12 totals $2,460,939. That is a decrease from this school year, because the IU has made some staff changes that results in a savings of about $25,000, or one percent.

The school district's share of the budget is $24,785, which is a little less that this year, explained Makuta.

Makuta also discussed the Schuylkill Technology Center's 2011-12 secondary budget last week. She related that Tamaqua Area's enrollment at the vo-tech this year is 85, which has been consistent with previous years. The district's share for this year us $5,883 per student.

There are currently two versions of the budget, one which includes special education costs, and one without those costs. "This is the first time they have taken special education into consideration," saiid Makuta last week.

The district's share for each budget is about 17 percent, which comes to about $6,200 per student for the non-special education budget and $6,762 per student when special education costs are added, noted Makuta.

She explained that the Tamaqua Area and Blue Mountain School Districts have their own special education programs in house but both are currently sharing the costs of a special ed teacher, which the IU wants to take over.

Makuta recommended no action be taken on the Technology Center budget until she and Business Manager Connie Ligenza could meet with the IU concerning the matter.

Personnel moves

In other business, the board approved the following moves.

Board Secretary Robert W. Betz was appointed as an alternate to the Health and Welfare Trust Committee for the current school year.

The following persons were added to the substitute custodian list: Kathy Brobst and Mary Ann Kopp, Tamaqua, and Ronald Hartung, New Ringgold, as full-time custodians; and Terry Guth, Tamaqua, as a substitute custodian.

The following persons were approved as substitute teachers: Ralph Andrews, JoLynn M. Gazo and Norine Zehner, all of Lehighton; Mark Angst, Branchdale; Tabitha Farrone, Frackville; Brittany Herman, Jim Thorpe; Shane McCabe, Mahanoy City; Jacqueline Murphy, Nesquehoning; Zac Ward, Weatherly; Courtney Wehr, Andreas; Thomas Miller, Tuscarora; and Penny Chescattie and Megan Devlin, both of Tamaqua.

Charlene Cassel, New Ringgold, was approved as a highly-qualified part-time paraprofessional, retroactive to Jan. 3. Part-time paraprofessional Lillian Birmeir, was adjusted to highly-qualified status, also effective Jan. 3.

The resignation of Rebecca Hoffman, part-time paraprofessional, was accepted, effective Jan. 12.

Nicole Andrasi's intermediate substitute position was adjusted to long term substitute status, effective through April 4.

The following leaves were approved: Charlene Shannon, middle school teacher, extention of family and medical leave to a child rearing leave, effective Jan. 24 to return on April 4; Doreen Siegfried, part-time paraprofessional, unpaid leave for March 7-11; Koreen Nalesnik, middle school teacher, unpaid leave from April 13-15; Jennifer Kinder, elementary teacher, unpaid leave, March 10; and Nancy Hludzik, middle school teacher, unpaid leave for Feb. 11 and 14.

Joann Protivnak, Lansford, was approved as an addition to the substitute clerical list.

The board also approved the expulsion of a high school student for one year, for violation of the district's discipline code. The explusion was recommended by the board's hearing committee.

Under public comment, Mary Gall, West Penn Township, addressed the board regarding a disciplinary action taken toward her son, who is a middle school student. The middle school principal recommended a detention for the student.

School Board President Larry A. Wittig said the administration investigated the incident, including speaking to five student witnesses, whose names were provided by the student, none of whom backed the student's story, according to the principal's report. The district sent a letter in support of the principal's decision to the student's parents.