Catasauqua Press

Friday, June 22, 2018

School board approves proposed budget

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by MARK RECCEK Special to The Press in School

Baccalaureate ceremony set for June 4; commencement to be held June 5

Catasauqua Area School Board unanimously approved the proposed 2017-18 budget at its May 9 meeting.

The proposed final budget estimates general fund expenditures of $29.9 million, while balancing anticipated revenues and expenditures. The budget remains within the Pennsylvania Act 1 Index of 3.2 percent.

The real estate tax rate for Lehigh County homeowners is anticipated at 14.4072 mills and 56.3513 mills for Northampton County residents, which amounts to a millage rate increase.

The average tax increase is expected to be $74.05.

“The budget reflects the continued efficiency of the district operations and actually reduces locally controlled expenses, while unfunded state and federal mandates increase expenditures by over $1 million, including charter school tuition payments, special education and PSERS retirement contribution,” Catasauqua Area School District Superintendent Robert Spengler said.

Spengler previously told The Press the district’s greatest challenge is the unfunded state mandate of charter schools. The district, he said, is expecting more than $1.6 million in tuition payments to charter schools.

The board expects to approve the final budget at its June 13 meeting. State law requires the final budget to be approved and submitted by June 30.

Prior to the June 13 meeting, a reception will be held honoring district retirees.

In other business, first readings of the fiscal objectives and budget preparation and adoption policies were approved.

The board also approved secretary and clerk, food service, transportation, custodian and maintenance and administration salaries for 2017-18.

Also during the meeting, the board announced the Catasauqua High School commencement ceremony is slated for 7:30 p.m. June 5 in the school gymnasium. The CHS baccalaureate ceremony will be held 7 p.m. June 4 in the high school auditorium.