SOUTHERN LEHIGH HIGH SCHOOL – At a short meeting here Monday night, the Southern Lehigh School Board approved salary increases for Superintendent Joseph P. Liberati and administrative staff, but not without objection.
Following close on the heels of extensive talk in recent meetings about future budgets, tax increases, and the effects of the economic downturn on area taxpayers, school board members overwhelmingly approved increases in salary for the superintendent, Assistant Superintendent Leah Christman, Director of Business and Personnel Services James Snell, and Human Resources Administrator William Kennedy. These increases are in keeping with increases in teacher salaries in the district.
These increases mean that the four will earn a combined total of $487,300.01 per year. That works out to an average of $39.29 in annual pay, per student, to Liberati, Christman, Snell and Kennedy each. By contrast, the school district spends an average of over $19,000 per student per year. According to the superintendent’s report on Sept. 13, there were 3,101 students enrolled in the district as of the third day of school this year.
Jeffrey Dimmig, the Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee who cast the lone “no” vote Monday, explained later that the school board needs to “make responsible decisions…to keep costs under control” and to “keep tax hikes at a minimum.” Dimmig added that the superintendent and his colleagues have done “a very good job.”
The next school board meeting is scheduled to be held here on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.