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Early look at CASD 2021-22 budget ‘strong’

At the Feb. 9 Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Robert Spengler shared some early thoughts on the 2021-22 budget. He noted the board members should expect to get their first look at the budget in March.

Spengler reported the fund balance is strong, and revenues are either stable or growing. He also said the district is anticipating COVID-19 relief funds.

Board members approved the Lehigh Carbon Community College proposed 2021-22 budget. The total operating debt service and capital budgets are $54,271,488, and CASD’s sponsor share will be $162,739. This is a decrease of $1,114 from last year.

Board members also approved the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute proposed 2021-22 budget. The total operating budget is $28,976,100, and CASD’s share is $818,381.62. This is an increase of $18,853.52 from last year.

The proposed Academic Center budget is $2,078,200, and the CASD share is $84,497. This is an increase of $9,527.

The board approved the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 proposed 2021-22 budget. The total operational budget is $3,276,665, and CASD’s share will be $25,496. This is a decrease of $3,950 from last year.

In other business, the board approved two new technology purchases. The first is uninterruptible power supply service from ePlus Technology at a $2,894.19 cost to the district. The second is for network switches from IntegraOne at a cost of $46,167.54. Wayne Karess, district network manager, and Kathleen Kotran, coordinator of instructional technology and federal programs, thanked the board.

“It will really go a long way to keep our network reliable,” Karess said.

“It’s been invaluable,” Kotran added.

In regard to personnel, board members approved the short-term substitute rate of $180 per day for Cathy Moore from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4; Tiandra Reigel from Feb. 10 to May 4; and Janelle Sentiwany from Jan. 19 to April 12. Tara Souilliard was approved for the substitute rate of $130 per day, effective Jan. 27. Souilliard and Madison Walker were added to the substitute employment list.

The board also approved the resignation of Karen Casey, a noncertified instructional aide at Sheckler Elementary School, effective Jan. 20.

The board approved several extracurricular positions, including Steven Bradley as head baseball coach at $5,399; Eric Snyder and Andrew Oswald as assistant baseball coaches at $2,671; James Snyder and Steven Ritter as volunteer assistant baseball coaches; Paige Kogelman as head softball coach at $5,399; Kip Kogelman as assistant softball coach at $2,671; Cathy Moore and Erika Proctor as assistant softball coaches at $1,335.50; Laura Gerhard as a volunteer assistant softball coach; Kyle Rusnock as head track coach at $5,399; Trajano Bastidas as middle school soccer coach at $2,671; Joseph Stofko and Janine Hemond as assistant track coaches at $2,671; David Burker as a volunteer assistant track coach; and Travis Brett as the spring weight room monitor at $600.

In his building and grounds report, Spengler reported the Alumni Field project is moving along. There were three items on the agenda involving the stadium project. Board members approved the authorization and approval of contracts with Miller Sports Construction for field improvements in the amount of $3,896,000, Southern Bleacher for bleacher upgrades and replacement in the amount of $664,700 and Musco Lighting LLC for lighting replacement not to exceed $265,140.

Catasauqua High School Principal Adam Schnug thanked the board members for approving the CHS career planning guide for the 2021-22 school year.

Karen Devine, Pennsylvania School Boards Association director of member services, attended the virtual meeting to honor the school board members for their service to the district. January was School Director Recognition Month. Devine noted she was unable to attend the January meeting but still wanted to share her appreciation for the Catasauqua board members.

“I thank you for all you do for public education,” Devine said.

She shared her gratification for the board’s dedication to the success and safety of the district’s students.

The school board next meets 7 p.m. March 9.