The number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch in the Palmerton Area School District is on the rise.

Superintendent Carol Boyce shared figures with the school board on Tuesday of the percentage of students eligible from each of the five buildings.

Boyce said that based on the calculations, the number of students in the district has gone up by 7.92 percent, from 30.65-percent last year, to 38.56 percent this year.

Also on Tuesday, business Manager Diane Serfass reviewed the district's timeline with regard to the 2013-14 budget.

Serfass said that the district "is working diligently" on next year's spending plan, and added that she has met with each of the building principals to discuss their respective building budgets.

The board has until Jan. 30 to adopt a preliminary budget, or adopt a resolution to not exceed the index, Serfass said.

By Feb. 20, the board must adopt a preliminary budget, which has to be submitted to the Pennsylvania State Department of Education by Feb. 28, she said. Final budget adoption is due by June 28, Serfass said.

In other business, the board:

- Approved the following designations in accordance with fund balance policy 620 as of June 30, 2012: Committed fund balance, $3,276,779 (purposes: retirement rate increases; CCTI increased enrollments; unexpected special education costs; charter school increased enrollments; and other educational expenses); Assigned fund balance, $546,685 (purposes: reinstated staff from 11-12 budget, balance 12-13 budget, and offset of retirement rate increases in 12-13 budget).

- Approved change order #003 - CMG of Easton - high school stadium bleacher replacement - project #1059010.012. The contract is changed as follows: Credit for unused allowances. The contract sum will be decreased by this change order in the amount of $29,135.

- Approved the addition of an additional half day release time for senior high school students for Algebra I Keystone exam transition from PSSA to Keystone Exams.

- Approved Barry Isett and Associates to put the sidewalk construction project out to bid.

- Accepted the McCall Grant independent auditors report as prepared by Gorman & Associates.

- To let the minutes reflect the receipt of approval from the Department of Education for Plancon Part K, "Project Refinancing" for the general obligation bonds, series of 2012. The permanent assigned reimbursable percentage has been set at 13.69-percent, subject to the district's market value aid ratio.

- Approved leave beginning Oct. 1, 2012, for Kerry Palumbo, English teacher. Her return to work date is to be determined.

- Removed Robert Clee as a substitute custodian, per his request.

- Approved the Employee Assistance Program Agreement with St. Luke's Hospital at no cost to the district.

- Approved a flat rate of $90 per day for day-to-day substitute teachers, effective Nov. 27, 2012.

- Approved Heath Mensher as a day-to-day substitute teacher retroactive to Nov. 1, 2012.

- Approved Cindy Kuntzman, Elementary; and Sarah Miller, Art, as day-to-day substitute teachers, effective Nov. 21, 2012.

- Approved Elise Binder and Marcia Heinick as volunteers at Towamensing Elementary for the 2012-13 school year.

- Accepted the second reading, and approved Policy 201.2 Possession/Use of Asthma Inhalers, Insulin Injection Devices and Epinephrine Auto-Injectors.

- Accepted the first reading of Policy 239 Foreign Exchange Students/Study Abroad.

- Accepted the first reading of Policy 616.1 Electronic Records & Electronic Signatures.

- Accepted the first reading of Policy 247 Hazing.

- Approved the contract with Lehigh Learning Academy to provide educational services to disruptive youth.

- Approved an independent contract of agreement with Eye in the Sky, LLC for security services at a rate of $18 an hour per unarmed guard for all district events, as requested, retroactive to July 1, 2012.

- Approved a contract of agreement with Disc Jockey Kings (Joshua Solarczyk or David Semmel) for DJ services for Homecoming dance sponsored by Class of 2013, retroactive to Oct. 20, 2012, at a cost of $300.

- Accepted Hannah Rast as an exchange student for the second semester of the 2012-2013 school year.

- Granted approval for the Towamensing Elementary chorus production - the License Agreement from "MTI Kids Collection" for dramatic performing rights to "Willy Wonka Kids."

- Approved the donation of $100 from the Towamensing P.T.O., Inc., to the PHS National Honor Society Activity Club for baby-sitting services for meetings.

- Approved a contract with Penn's Peak for graduation on June 3, 2013, or June 10, 2013.

- Approved the revised 2012-2013 school calendar.