Instructor cuts have to be thought-about, Southern Lehigh superintendent says

U. SAUCON TWP., Pa. – The Southern Lehigh Faculty Board acquired an replace on the 2022-23 funds throughout its Monday evening assembly.

The district is dealing with a demanding, though not not possible, speedy fiscal future, in keeping with Superintendent Michael Mahon. The administration supplied a warning, nevertheless, if nothing is completed.

“If no taxes are raised and no positions are reduce, the projected deficit for 2022-23 is $3.3 million,” Mahon stated.

Employees is the district’s largest expense, and cuts to it have to be thought-about, the superintendent stated.

“We have now to make some laborious choices,” Mahon stated. “Absent motion, we could possibly be furloughs.”

Nonetheless, Mahon didn’t advocate furloughs Monday evening.

“The scenario is difficult, however not that difficult,” he stated.

Mahon as a substitute really useful the district not fill varied skilled workers vacancies.

Particularly, he cited a social research instructor place, which might improve class dimension from 21 to 25 college students if left vacant.

One other measure, he stated, can be to eradicate a center faculty social research instructor place, which might improve class sizes from 22 to 29 college students.

The third choice was associated to a center faculty particular training instructor place, which might consequence within the switch of a present instructor.

Different cost-cutting measures and a tax improve would additional shut the hole, Mahon recommended.

One space by which the district might must spend extra money subsequent yr could possibly be the elementary colleges. Elementary class sizes are excessive, and Mahon really useful that if class sizes exceed 26 college students, one extra instructor can be employed, it doesn’t matter what occurs with the remaining funds.

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A 2022-23 funds breakdown exhibits almost $74 million in expenditures, a 3.4% whole internet improve from final yr. 

Worker advantages have elevated by $1.3 million when in comparison with final yr, whereas salaries and wages have gone up by $882,000. Constitution faculty prices have climbed by $250,000.

An additional breakdown exhibits, share smart, the Pennsylvania Public Faculty Staff Retirement Methods is at 35.26%, whereas well being care prices elevated by 2% to 12%. Constitution faculty prices are nonetheless being ascertained as of earlier this month.

The funds has revenues totaling $70.7 million. As well as, the district has skilled a tax base decline in recent times, however that quantity is recovering. The district has a projected ending fund steadiness of roughly $13 million.

The district didn’t decide on a tax improve fee Monday evening, however earlier this month was in search of a 3% tax improve, which is 0.4% decrease than the Act 1 index of three.4%. Southern Lehigh has already opted to not pursue funds exemptions.

The preliminary funds is scheduled to be launched Might 9. The ultimate funds is anticipated to be accredited June 27.

Different enterprise

In different actions, the board accredited a three-year compensation plan for directors. Entitled the “Act 93 Administrative Compensation Plan,” the doc covers varied positions together with constructing principals, division administrators and one coordinator.

In different information, administrators accredited a memorandum of understanding with Mansfield College for his or her early begin program. The deal will enable sure Southern Lehigh college students to take hybrid, on-line or face-to-face undergraduate programs supplied by the college as non-degree college students, as house permits.

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Mansfield will present these college students with a decreased tuition fee at $50 per credit score.

In different enterprise, the board appointed France, Anderson, Basile & Firm PC to carry out an audit of the district workplace for the present fiscal yr. The audit will embrace auditing Southern Lehigh’s authorities actions, monetary statements, enterprise actions, every main fund and the mixture remaining fund info. It’ll embrace additionally a evaluation a district’s pension plan contributions.

The audit is anticipated to start round July 5 with the report issued no later than March 15, 2023. The corporate’s price won’t exceed $27,500.

Lastly, the board accredited Director of Tutorial Know-how Kenneth Jordan’s retirement efficient June 30. Jordan has 20 years of service with the district.