The Northampton School Board met on Monday, June 14 to vote on the budget for the 2021-22 school year. 

A Moore Township resident, who has a student in the district, was present at the meeting to ask the Region 3 board members to vote against the proposed tax increase. She cited the lower-income families in the region, increasing prices of food and utilities, and pandemic unemployment and uncertainty as her reasoning. Further, she discussed the idea of faculty and staff taking a salary freeze in place of a tax increase. 

School board president David Gogel and member Roy Maranki both voted against the 1.5% tax increase; however, it was approved with all other members in attendance voting in favor. The budget for the 2021-22 school year comes in at just over $119 million with a majority of the money allocated for the general fund, $2,502,658 for the food service fund, and $257,494 for the athletics fund. 

In other news, Dr. Michelle Schoeneberger, who is currently serving as the district’s Director of Curriculum, will transition into a new role as Assistant Superintendent. The director of curriculum position will be eliminated; however, Dr. Schoeneberger will still be responsible for the curriculum in her new role, in addition to new tasks, according to Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik. 

“I am looking forward to working with everyone in this new capacity,” Dr. Schoeneberger said of the position change. 

School board member Dr. Michael Baird announced that he was re-elected as president of the Colonial Intermediate Unit #20 Board of Directors, and Dr. Damary Bonilla was elected as vice president. Dr. Baird was also appointed as a voting delegate for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association Delegate Assembly held on Saturday, October 23 in Mechanicsburg. 

Finally, the Sixth Annual NASD Car Show will take place on Saturday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bicentennial Park West in East Allen Township; the rain date is Sunday, August 1. All proceeds from the event will benefit the school district’s student council. 

The Northampton School Board will hold their next meeting on Monday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Northampton Area Middle School. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for your support and review of “Paw Prints on the Canal”. Our volunteers worked diligently to support our community and our Northampton Borough Police Department! Good job, Candi Lynn for being their for your community, organizing this great event.

  2. Hello Christina – Please correct this article to reflect that I advocated for a salary FREEZE, not a reduction. I can share the audio if you need it. My exact quote was a salary freeze is a fair and viable option – one of SEVERAL things that should be done to close the budget gap. I’m not overlooking how hard teachers and support staff worked last year – they were left to make the best of a terrible situation, many times with very limited resources. Most of the country worked very hard last year – yet it’s not about how hard anyone worked. It’s about reality. The money can’t go out if it’s not coming in. We’re acting as if this is all business as usual. But, this pandemic triggered a financial and educational emergency in our community that will have effects for years to come. Local officials might not be able to control sky-rocketing gas and food prices but they CAN control local taxes. My region within the district has a high number of fixed-income seniors and low-income families that will be hurt by this increase. Holding taxes THIS YEAR should have been as much of a no-brainer as it was last year. Especially after the board passed an equity policy in March, pledging to make low-income families essential partners in school planning and district decision-making. If this board won’t live within its means during a 100-year pandemic, it never will. And it will probably vote very soon to approve yet another new school project – during a historic financial emergency – that will increase future budgets even further! The next big question is – since the district budget IS increasing, on top of receiving COVID funds, what is the board/administration MULTI-YEAR plan to regain what our students lost since March 2020?

    • Hi Kim, I apologize for that, I have fixed the article to say “freeze” instead of “reduction.” Thank you!

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