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Northern Lehigh sets sights on new budget

Published September 11. 2012 05:01PM

With an eye toward the future, Northern Lehigh School District has set its sights set on next year's budget.

Sherri Molitoris, co-director of business affairs/human resources, on Monday briefly discussed the 2013-14 budget timeline with the school board.

Molitoris said that due to Lehigh County's reassessment, the district is locked in at 1.7 percent, with an adjusted rate of 2.3 percent.

With a large retirement increase expected throughout the district, Molitoris said it may have to consider exceptions.

"We can raise our taxes by 1.48 mills," Molitoris said. "If we have to file for exceptions, we need to have a budget to the state by January."

In 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 will 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.

In other business, the board:

• Approved school board policy #249, Pupils, Bullying/Cyberbullying, as presented, after first reading.

• Approved the request of the parents of a kindergarten student at Peters Elementary School, and a fourth grade student at Slatington Elementary School who are moving into Washington Township, to allow their students to begin the 2012-13 school year in the district, in accordance with school board policy #202. Settlement on their house is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2012.

• Authorized the Literacy Center of Allentown to conduct an Adult GED class two times per week, beginning Sept. 18, 2012, and ending on May 23, 2013, complying with closures announced by Northern Lehigh School District for inclement weather, emergency situations, or conflicting high school events, and further approve district administration to waive the use of facilities costs at $20 per session.

• Approved to authorize the superintendent to execute a letter of agreement for the 2012-13 academic year with the Center of Humanistic Change, Inc. to provide Student Assistance Program Liaison services. The Student Assistance Teams in the school district will use these services.

• Approved to designate and authorize administrators Paul Rearden, Jr., Peters Elementary School principal; Dr. Linda Marcincin, Slatington Elementary School principal; Jill Chamberlain, middle school principal; Robert Vlasaty, high school principal; and Scott Pyne, high school assistant principal, to sign summary offense notices for district students for the 2012-13 school year.

• Approved to authorize proper officials to enter into an agreement between the Northern Lehigh School District and Around the Clock Nursing, Inc. for the purpose of providing in-school nursing care for student No. 1390061 for the 2012-13 school year at a cost of $25 per day, or $40 per day when student is on a field trip and not on school premises.

• Approved to appoint Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP, as special counsel for the 2012-13 school year for special education consultations and student services as outlined in the attached agreement. The cost of these services will be $6,000 for the 2012-13 school year, and is a part of the Special Education budget.

• Approved a settlement agreement concerning the JMSI issues.

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

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