Business office braces for audit
"We're getting prepared for the annual audit," said Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) business manager Stacy M. Gober at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Finance Committee in the Education Building on Sycamore Street.
Gober was referring to the annual audit of the school district's business practices, a report that, in the past three years, has been extremely critical of the district's business office.
Last year's report showed that the business office, after previously failing to address many deficiencies, has made significant improvements in a variety of functional areas.
Gober also told the committee that the school board needs to nominate three voting delegates to the Pa. School Board Association's Legislative Policy Council meeting scheduled for Oct. 18, 2012, in Hershey. The PSBA is a lobby that seeks to influence the state legislature on education issues.
Stephen Antalics, speaking at the public forum part of the meeting, cautioned the committee that meeting without a full quorum would allow a mischief-minded minority of the committee to keep items off the agenda for the regular meeting.
The committees for BASD's school board typically discuss and approve or disapprove issues to put before the full board at its monthly regular meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy responded to Antalics' concerns, saying that since the committees do not take formal votes, they don't need a quorum to conduct committee business. He said to require a quorum for committee work would unduly hamper the school board's ability to conduct business.
Roy told Antalics that even if a committee decides not to forward an item to the regular meeting, any member can add it to the agenda.
In other business, the finance committee forwarded the administration's request to contract with Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 for an associate teacher for the East Hills MS's autistic support program, with a contract value not to exceed $34,102. It also gave preliminary approval for an associate specialist for the Life Skills Support Program at Liberty HS with a contract not to exceed $40,150.
Liberty and Freedom will get $35,305 worth of new band instruments if the school board approves recent bids from instrument suppliers. The music department will get two sousaphones for $12,358 and one set of four timpani drums for $10,111.
The administration will soon have authority to apply for a $664,439 Accountability Block Grant, $125,000 of which it will use to fund 100 percent of the salaries of the police officers assigned to patrol the schools. The school district will use the remainder to staff the all-day kindergarten program and to pay for some taxes on salaries in the technology department.
The Bethlehem City EMS will get the contract to provide ambulance service for high school varsity football games the coming school year; the cost is $90 per hour per game.
For other high school and middle school games, the contract will go to the Hecktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps at prices ranging between $165 and $225 per doubleheader game.
The administration plans to contract with various physicians and dentists for student medical and dental examinations at $10 per medical examination and $4 per dental examination.