February 5, 2019 – NASD School Board Meeting
Absent: Jodi Mammana
Dr. Stubitz addressed the many absences of Ms. Mammana this school year, explaining that she has been taking care of a chronically ill family member and also recently suffered the loss of her father.
The Board meeting on February 12 will be held at CIT and will include a tour of that facility
For the second year in a row a Nazareth Senior has won the 2019 Art Pop Scholastic Billboard Competition. Hannah Hess’s billboard went up last night and will be shown around the Lehigh Valley until January 2020.
The SkillsUSA competition was cancelled last week due to the weather and will be rescheduled.
School Board Recognition Month
School Board members received small gifts from students in appreciation of their service to the district.
As per Act I, the School District must comply with certain steps before approving its budget
- Approve the preliminary budget by Feb. 5th (the January 29th meeting was cancelled due to weather)
- Propose the final budget by March 26th
- Adopt the final budget by April 30th
Stuart Whiteleather presented a 2019-2020 preliminary budget in the amount of $93,166,931 which is a 4.82% increase over the current budget. Under ACT I, the District may only raise the budget by 2.3%. To raise it more requires state permission.
Mr. Whiteleather and Dr. Riker gave a presentation showing a millage rate of 53.27 and a cost per student of $17,922.
Drivers for the increase are:
- Salaries (3 additional staff will need to be added because of the increase in the number of students)
- Benefits (medical insurance, pensions, etc.)
- Other costs
- Department budgets – increase 4.43%
- Special Education – increase 7.3%
- Technology – increase 5.8%
- Transportation – increase 5.9%
- Facilities – increase 0.5%
- Charter Schools – increase 10%
Kathryn Roberts asked questions about the increase in charges of transportation and special education. Mr. Whiteleather explained that special education costs really can’t be predicted from year to year, but that the increase in residential developments in the area has led to an increase in the number of required vehicles. It costs approximately $50,000 per year for each new bus.
Dr. Stubitz expressed concern over the rising costs of Charter Schools and hoped that the state would soon address the funding for these charges.
I asked about the $1.3 million baseball field which was installed last year at the Intermediate School, and inquired if this year’s budget included a similar expense. Dr. Riker said the only Facilities expenses would be for HVAC installation and the replacement of 2 roofs. There were no planned bonds to pay for more sports fields next year.
NASD has a property tax rebate which can be claimed by residents who:
- Are 65 and older
- Are 50 years and older and a widow or widower
- People with disabilities who are 18 years or older
You can find more information here: https://www.nazarethasd.k12.pa.us/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=844&dataid=3713&FileName=2017-18%20Rebate%20guidelines.pdf
Items 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 passed.
Item 7 included the preliminary budget. It passed unanimously although Dr. Stubitz announced she was only voting to move it forward. She wants to see a decrease in expenses by the final budget.
Item 8. A. x. approved the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NASD and he Nazareth Area Educational Support Professionals Association/PSEA/NEA for the time period of July 1, 2019 through August 31, 2022.
A link to the agenda and minutes can be found here: https://www.boarddocs.com/pa/naza/Board.nsf/Public
Becky Bartlett covers these meetings because citizens have the right to know what their government is doing.