Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

BASD: District steps up lunch fee collections

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 by Nate Jastrzemski njastrzemski@tnonline.com in Local News

The BASD school board’s special meeting Aug. 13 began with a question from resident Steve Antalics, who asked if members had a policy on people attending meetings kneeling during recitations of a loyalty oath, which is often invoked at meetings’ openings.

President Mike Faccinetto said simply, “There’s no better place for the freedom of speech.”

New Financial Operations Supervisor Matt Degenhart said the growing amount of delinquent debt in dining services and other places requires increased collections efforts; letters from the district have proven ineffective. He reported the Finance Committee recommended the hiring of a new collections service to assist with the more than $154,000 owed for dining facility services alone. Financial Operations Supervisor Matt Degenhart said letters from the district have proven ineffective and the growing amount of delinquent debt in dining services and other places requires increased collections efforts.

Degenhart said there are nearly 3,500 outstanding accounts districtwide, and more than half of them owe $5 or less. Transworld Systems, Inc. will contract out for $7,785 and will recoup its price through a collections rate at $11.25 per account. Meaning a family owing the district $5 will is contacted by Transworld will have to pay $16.25.

The motion will be voted on at the Aug. 20 meeting.

Administrators reported summer projects are on schedule for the approaching school year, and specifically mentioned the heavy work around the new Nitschmann MS still has weeks to go but is making good progress.

The board also agreed to send a letter of support for SB 1098, sponsored by Sen. Pat Browne, to provide greater automated enforcement of traffic around school buses, namely, placing cameras on them to deter or observe drivers who try to drive around buses stopped and discharging or accepting students. However, no one is certain how the law will work, and as was repeated by several board members, “The devil is in the details.”

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Jack Silva proudly announced a new professional development program called Act 80, which will help balance professional learning for staff without costing more educational time for students. Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy said the program is a well-designed administrative tool for the district and thanked Silva and his team for their effort.

Roy also said a downloadable district application is available to help coordinate messages to all district parents and students and provide on-stop access to all schools, events, and social media products and, when necessary, emergency messages. Though the BASD application is available, it has not yet been officially announced while the bugs are being worked out.