The Northampton School Board met Monday, March 11.

Early in the meeting, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Executive Director Christopher Wolfel announced that the proposed 2024-2025 school year budget requests a 0% increase, which will keep the district’s contribution at $45,499.

During the Northampton County College budget presentation, NCC President David Ruth requested a 6.60% or $60,521 increase for the 2024-2025 school year budget, which would total $955,417 for the district’s contribution.

In other news, the board unanimously accepted the letter of resignation submitted by board member Chuck Frantz effective March 1, which leaves a Region 2 (Northampton Borough/East Allen Township) vacant seat on the school board.

As such, the board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 5:30 p.m. to interview individuals who have submitted applications for the vacant seat.

During review of agenda items, Vice President Kristin Soldridge proposed reducing district funds to the Northampton Area Public Library from the proposed $270,000 for the upcoming school year to $50,000 due to the high costs and increases in other district projects and budgets, stating that each school already has their own library.

Director John Becker expressed that the library provides a vital service to the community and that he doesn’t believe in cutting their funding, especially since school libraries are not open during evening hours when the public library is.

Director Joshua Harris also shared that since the public library is a community resource then the community such as Northampton Borough Council should be providing more funds rather than the district.

Other meeting highlights included modification of the agenda item for the approximate 18,000 mailed notices to district residents informing them of the Thursday, April 4 public meeting at Moore Elementary School at 6 p.m. in regards to the consideration of keeping Moore Elementary open and having five elementary schools in the district instead of four at a cost of approximately $5,000. Prior to amendment, the amount also included an extra $10,000 for signage around the district, but the board voted to remove the extra signage.

Topics on the list for discussion at the elementary configuration meeting include academics, financial impact for district residents, personnel, redistricting of students and transportation.

Other agenda items that were contested included the 6-2 vote to approve an amendment to the agreement for engineering services by D’Huy Engineering Inc., for the Route 329 project and the potential of a $4 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Soldridge and Brian McCulloch voted against the motion.

Additionally, in a 6-1 vote regarding the reappointment of Crystal Becker, Crista Billowitch and Walter Fries as trustees of Northampton Area Public Library for three-year terms of March 1 through Feb. 28, 2027, Soldridge voted against the motion and Becker abstained.

The next regular monthly Northampton School Board meeting will be held on Monday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the NAHS auditorium, located at 1619 Laubach Ave.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here