Northern Lehigh School District continues to shape next year's spending plan bit by bit.

Rhonda Frantz, co-director of Business Affairs/ Employee Payroll & Benefits, briefly discussed the status of the 2013-14 budget with the school board on Monday.

Frantz said work continues on the budget, and that specific numbers would be shared at next month's Finance Committee meeting.

Last month, the board agreed to adopt a resolution to not exceed the Act 1 Tax Index for the 2013-14 budget.

Due to Lehigh County's reassessment, the district is locked in at 1.7 percent, with an adjusted rate of 2.3 percent. Therefore, the most it can raise taxes by is 1.48 mills.

The board is expected to adopt next year's preliminary budget in April.

This past June, the board adopted the 2012-13 spending plan with a zero-mill increase after it agreed to utilize $715,000 from the fund balance to stabilize the budget.

As part of that budget, 46 aides in the district saw a one-hour reduction in their hours this school year, as their hours have been reduced from 5 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours per day, which will save the district $350,000.

The $28,106,782 budget left the property tax rate unchanged at 64.37 mills in Lehigh and Northampton counties, which means a person with a home valued at $100,000, and assessed at $50,000, will again pay $3,219 in property taxes to the district.

Also on Monday, the board, on a 6-0 vote, with two abstentions, approved a resolution regarding the 2013-14 Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit Operational and Program Services budget.

Directors Lauren Ganser and Robin Distler abstained from the vote because they are employed by the CLIU. Director Mathias Green was absent.

Total expenditures equal $2,266,051, which represents a 6.5-percent, or $138,133, increase, over the 2012-13 budget. Northern Lehigh's share is proposed to be $19,947, an increase of $373 from the 2012-13 budget.

A copy of the budget was distributed at the Jan. 14 school board meeting.

In other business, the board, on an 8-0 vote:

- Approved to designate fund balance ending June 30, 2012, as follows: Commited fund balance for health insurance premiums, $810,000, PSERS increase, $2,590,886; assigned fund balance, assigned for current school year usage, $715,000, technology, $84,599, replacement equipment, $1,000,747, long range maintenance, $218,650; unassigned fund balance, $2,207,342; for a total fund balance total of $7,627,224.

- Approved the appointment of Michelle Krill as temporary vacancy replacement, Peters Elementary First Grade Teacher, replacing an employee on family medical leave, at substitute teacher rate days 1-30; Day 31 and beyond $44,000 prorated (Step 1 Bachelors on the 2012-13 CBA Salary Schedule), effective Dec. 7, 2012, with a termination date on or about April 26, 2013.

- Approved the appointment of Kayla Perkowski as a temporary vacancy replacement, Peters Elementary First Grade Teacher, replacing an employee on family medical leave, at substitute teacher rate days 1-30; Day 31 and beyond $44,000 prorated (Step 1 Bachelors on the 2012-13 CBA Salary Schedule), effective Jan. 15, 2013, with a termination date on or about April 5, 2013.

- Approved the request of employee #21 to take a six-week maternity leave beginning Jan. 15, 2013. She is requesting to use 28 accumulated sick days. At the conclusion of her six-week maternity leave, she is requesting a six-week Family Medical Leave. She plans to return to her current teaching position on or about April 8, 2013.

- Approved the request of employee #1260 to take an unpaid leave of absence, effective Jan. 15, 2013, for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year. The employee was previously granted a 12-week Family Medical Leave. She plans to return to her current position at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

- Acknowledged teacher Everly Kesack, from Step 4B to Step 4B+24, who has completed the requirements per the Collective Bargaining Agreement that would entitle her to a salary increase for the second half of the 2012-13 school year.

- Approved Erica Szwast as an unpaid volunteer aide in the Peters Elementary and/or Slatington Elementary schools for the 2012-13 school year, pending verification of missing documents.

- Approved Jackie Ngo as Musical Choreographer for the Spring Musical for the NLHS Student Theatre Group, pending verification of missing documents. The stipend for this position will be $1,000, to be paid out of the High School Student Activities Fund. The Musical Choreographer will be responsible for overseeing all persons involved with musical numbers/responsibilities (pit band, choral arrangements, choral preparation) stage blocking, dance numbers, scheduling, etc., as determined by the high school principal and production director.

- Appointed Ellen Yenser as Substitute Secondary Detention Monitor for the senior high school for the 2012-13 school year. Work will be on as as-needed-basis, and compensation will be at a salary of $20 per hour worked.

- Approved Coleen Satkowski, Social Studies/Reading Specialist/ESL; Michael Fay, Social Studies; and Jonathon Harris, Special Education, as substitute teachers for the 2012-13 school year at the 2012-13 substitute teacher rates as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule, pending verification of missing documents.

- Approved the first reading of school board policy #217, Pupils - Graduation Requirements, as presented.

- Accepted the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Performance Audit Report for years ending June 30, 2009 and June 30, 2010. A copy was distributed at the Jan. 14, 2013 school board meeting.

- Accepted the 2011-12 audit and management report for the single audit ending June 30, 2012. A copy of the audit was distributed at the Jan. 14, 2013 school board meeting.

- Approved Brian Schell as a volunteer assistant softball coach for the 2012-13 school year.

- Approved exoneration requests of per capita taxes, for the residents that fall within the guidelines, as presented.

- Announced this year's high school graduation date has tentatively been set for Friday, June 7.