Record-setting class of 2019 set for Stabler; 2019-20 budget approved

Record-setting class of 2019 set for Stabler; 2019-20 budget approved
Posted on 06/09/2019


Graduation Week is here! The countdown that was once weeks away for seniors is now only days away. Come Friday evening at the Stabler Arena at Lehigh University, Quakertown will add nearly 400 new graduates to its alumni roles. As a class and as individuals, they have wonderful stories to tell of achievement and service.

The Class of 2019 set numerous Quakertown school records in the three A's: academics, arts, and athletics. In academics, the Class of 2019 set a high school college readiness record with a SAT average score of 1154. This is up 108 points over the past five years and one of the highest school SAT averages in the area. Higher scores created and secured greater possibilities for those going to college. At Upper Bucks County Technical School, the NOCTI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute) school average for seniors was 95 percent advanced or proficient. One Quakertown senior secured a job immediately after graduation that sets a new Quakertown record - it will pay nearly $100,000 a year. ($100K is not a typo.) Athletically, the Class of 2019 set a collegiate sports scholarship record of 24 graduates. In the arts, it was another amazing award-winning year for the Quakertown Marching and Jazz Bands, with a wonderful musical performance of Fiddler on the Roof. We will certainly miss our seniors and look forward to learning about their many accomplishments in the years to come.

You may catch up on many of this year's amazing stories here.

Two weeks ago, at Neidig Elementary School, students, Principal Scott Godshalk, Board President Steaven Klein and Board Facilities Committee Chair Kaylyn Mitchell led a Groundbreaking Ceremony at the school to commemorate the beginning of construction for the new elementary school. Bulldozers are already carving out a new bus loop in the rear of the Neidig property. School construction begins in earnest this Friday, and the new Neidig will be ready for students in August 2020.

Last Thursday night at the June 6th School Board meeting, the Board approved the 2019-20 Final Budget with an 8-1 vote. The budget included a 2.7 percent tax increase, which is within the index of Act I, the state's property tax law. Expenditures are budgeted to be $114.580,941. That is a 4.4 percent increase over last year's budgeted expenditures. Increased costs come from contractual obligations, retirement system increases, the debt service for the Neidig construction, and adding five teaching positions and two new administrative positions that mostly support students experiencing challenges. Mental health issues in America are at crisis levels, and we are certainly experiencing that from K-12. All the QCSD's Finance Department's 2019-20 Budget preparation, that formally began in January, may be found at this link.

Also at the meeting, the Board reported out the completion of its stated mandated evaluation of QCSD's two assistant superintendents and me, along with approving the 96.6 percent completion of the 2018-19 Superintendent Goals. At the Board's previous meeting on May 24th, the Administration provided a presentation on the 2018-19 Superintendent Goals and the Superintendent's Goals Report for 2018-19 Over the past five years, the Superintendent Goals have been the road map for Quakertown reaching excellence in academics, arts, and athletics, along with operational, finance and school safety areas. This Thursday night, at the June 13th School Board Meeting, the Board will continue its discussion with the Administration about the draft Superintendent Goals for 2019-20 academic year.

Thank you for reading! Please share your thoughts with the Board and me whenever you get a chance.

Bill Harner

Superintendent, QCSD

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @billharner

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