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The Neshaminy Board of School Directors met in public session on June 11, 2002, in the Auditorium of 
the Pearl Buck Elementary School.  The following persons were in attendance:



Mr. Steven Schoenstadt, President

Dr. Gary Bowman

Mrs. June Bostwick, Vice-President

Mr. P. Howard Wilson

Mrs. Yvonne Butville
Mr. Harry Dengler, Jr.

Dr. Raymond Boccuti
Mr. Harry Jones

Ms. Carol Drioli

Mr. Joseph Paradise

Mr. Richard Eccles

Mr. Bruce Wyatt

Mrs. Kimberly Jowett|
George Mecleary, Jr., Esq.


Dr. William Spitz


Kristina S. Wiercinski, Esq.

SECRETARY:  Mrs. Anita Walls

OTHERS:  Approximately 20 persons from the
public, staff and press

Prior to the Public Meeting an Executive Session was held to discuss NESPA.

Call to Order Mr. Schoenstadt called the meeting to order at 8:20 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance- Mr. Schoenstadt requested those in attendance join in the salute to the flag.  

Announcements – No Announcements.

Public CommentMr. Gil Howland, Langhorne, Pennsylvania, resident for twenty-two years has attended many school board meetings, but as of late Mr. Howland has not been able to attend.  Mr. Howland advised the Board that he has been reading articles in the newspaper.  Mr. Howland noted that Council Rock School Board had courage to advise the teachers that they could go no further.  Mr. Howland hoped that this Board could have that same courage when the time comes for a new contract.  Mr. Howland stated that it was the first time ever that a school board has taken such action.  Mr. Howland advised that the taxpayer is not happy paying the high medical benefits that are received by school district employees.  Mr. Howland advised that the taxpayers are already making up the difference with social security costs.  Mr. Howland was aware that the district was trying to receive their fair share regarding special education.   Mr. Howland advised that since the teachers have such a high salary they should contribute towards benefits.  Mr. Howland also noted that there needs to be something done regarding the steps.  Mr. Howland requested that the Board take into consideration all the aspects when the teacher contract is up for renewal.

Mr. Phoenix Heslin, Langhorne, Pennsylvania, twelve years old, has been a home-schooled student for the past five years.  Phoenix has played football for a few community teams, but he has outgrown the weight requirements and can no longer play.  Phoenix advised that his only option is to play football for the public schools, and he is not the only home-schooled student in this situation.  Phoenix respectfully asked the Board to consider the possibility of home-schooled students being allowed to play school sports.  Phoenix stated that he believed that denying home schooled students access to public school sports is unfair, because the students do the same amount of work, pay the same amount of taxes and Phoenix stated that if he needs to follow Neshaminy School District’s academic rules, then why should he not have a right to play along side his peers.  Phoenix advised that if denied, his football career and scholarship opportunities would be taken away from him.  Phoenix thanked the Board for their time and consideration of the matter.

Mr. Paul Schneider, Langhorne, Pennsylvania expressed to the Board that he hoped that they would reconsider Home Education Policy #533 that would allow home-schooled students to become involved in extra curricular activities.

Mr. Sayre introduced Mr. Andrus, a teacher from Hungary here at Neshaminy School District through the Fulbright Exchange Program.  Mr. Andrus has experienced some cultural shock while in the states, since in Hungary he teaches at a college level and here at Neshaminy he was involved with the middle school students.  Mr. Andrus, along with his sons, provided a wonderful concert for the benefit of the Neshaminy community.  Mr. Schoenstadt presented Mr. Andrus with a certificate of appreciation from Neshaminy School District.  

Superintendent’s Report  - Dr. Bowman requested that a moment of silence be taken in memory of Mr. Murdock, a bus driver for Neshaminy School District for 35 years, who passed away.  Dr. Bowman stated that Mr. Murdock was a wonderful individual with a fine family.    

Dr. Bowman advised that the girl’s Softball team had their banquet this evening and Dr. Bowman had the opportunity to speak with their parents and coach.  Dr. Bowman advised that this team is the first softball team from Neshaminy High School to go after the State Softball Championship.  Dr. Bowman advised that Maple Point did win the championship when it was a high school.  The team was seated number l4 and it was unexpected.

Dr. Bowman reminded the Board that commencement exercises will take place tomorrow and those participating are to meet in Mr. Collins’ office and begin the ceremony at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Bowman advised that since joining the district 27 years ago he attended approximately 500 school board meetings.  Dr. Bowman thanked the Board of School Directors for allowing him to have the privilege of serving this school district.  Dr. Bowman further thanked the parents and community for that same privilege.  Dr. Bowman stated that he has learned as much as the students.  Dr. Bowman especially thanked the students who have made Neshaminy proud.  Dr. Bowman stated that as he concludes 38 years of education he feels very comfortable and satisfied that Neshaminy School District is a premier school district.  Dr. Bowman commented that he is leaving the district in good hands with Mr. Howard Wilson and his staff.  Dr. Bowman stated that he has been blessed; it has been a wonderful privilege and thanked everyone for allowing him to have a wonderful experience.

Mr. Paradise expressed that it has been an honor and a privilege working with Dr. Bowman for many years, and counting him among his friends for these years.  Neshaminy hired Dr. Bowman as a Federal Programs Director around the same time that Mr. Paradise began his career as Director of Accounting which was in 1975.  Mr. Paradise stated that he would never forget the first meeting in the Penndel Elementary School in which his office was located in an old kindergarten classroom.  Mr. Paradise further stated that it did not take long to realize that our new director of federal programs was an amazingly gifted, intelligent and extremely people oriented man, and most of all destined for accomplishment and success.  After a few prior years of disorder in the district, Dr. Bowman was appointed Superintendent in 1992, and quickly Neshaminy was back in the positive spotlight that it had experienced for so many years prior.  It was not long before the Neshaminy name was once again respected throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for innovative leadership, cutting edge programs and a dedication to students unrivaled across the state.  Mr. Paradise noted that most recently Dr. Bowman has led the district to the immense national recognition, not of just one, but of two, nationally recognized Blue Ribbon Schools.  It is hard not to speak about Dr. Bowman without speaking about his heart.  Mr. Paradise advised that so many, including himself, have been a beneficiary of Dr. Bowman’s goodwill, kindness and selfless caring.  Dr. Bowman has been loved by so many over the years at Neshaminy, including himself.  Mr. Paradise thanked Dr. Bowman for his efforts on behalf of the students at Neshaminy.  Mr. Paradise wished Dr. Bowman the best in his well earned retirement and hoped to see him often in the years ahead.

Approval of Minutes Upon motion of Mr. Dengler and seconded by Mrs. Butville, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of the May 22, 2002 Public Meeting.

Approval of Treasurer’s Report, Bills for Payment, Investments, and Exonerations of Personal and Per Capita TaxMr. Paradise presented the following for approval:

·         May 3l, 2002 Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit

·         Bills for payment Check Register- May 2002

·         Two Escrow Funds and Three Investment Funds

·         Personal and per capita tax exonerations for May 2002 totaling 120 exonerations

Mr. Dengler moved the May 31, 2002, Treasurer’s Report be approved, subject to audit, the May, 2002 bills for payment, and May, 2002 personal and per capita tax exonerations be approved.  Mr. Eccles seconded the motion.

The Board unanimously approved the Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit, bills for payment, and exonerations of personal and per capita tax.  

Bid/s Mr. Paradise presented the following bid/s for approval:

Bid No. 03-15 Transportation Parts Supplies

Bid Amount:  $110,090.72

The bid is for various supplies for the maintenance of District vehicles for SY 2002/2003.  Quantities on the bid are estimated.  Actual quantities purchased may vary from estimate but will not exceed total recommended for award.

Dr. Spitz moved the bid be approved and Mrs. Butville seconded the motion.  The Board unanimously approved the bid.

Certified and Support Personnel ActionsMr. Wilson presented the following for approval:

·         Elections – Certified Staff

·         Resignations and Leaves of Absence – Certified Staff

·         Elections and Changes of Classification – Support Staff

·         Resignations and Leaves of Absence – Support Staff

·         2002 Summer School Staff

Mr. Wilson noted on page H-5 is the election of Summer School Staff.  Summer School Staff is a self-funded program.

Mr. Wilson recommended the approval of the personnel report for certified and support personnel as presented.

Mrs. Butville moved the personnel actions listed be approved.  Mr. Dengler seconded the motion.

The Board unanimously approved the personnel actions.

Motion:  Adoption of the 2002-2003 Budget

Mr. Schoenstadt presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, the Neshaminy Board of School Directors received a working draft of the 2002-2003 budget from the administration on April 10, 2002.  The Board reviewed the budget and made the budget available to the public on May 22, 2002; and

WHEREAS, in accordance, with the Pennsylvania School Code, the Board of School Directors must now adopt a final operating budget for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors adopt a final operating budget in the amount of $126,262,307 including -

·         Carry-over purchase orders of $890,655

·         Federal and other programs in the amount of $1,626,49l; and a

·         Capital projects in the amount of $1,772,506


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the capital projects budget will be funded from the remaining proceeds of a previous general obligation bond issue and from a new general obligation Note.  The federal programs budget will be funded by specific federal grants.  In order to fund the general fund budget, the following taxes are to be levied:

1.        Real Estate Tax 47l.8 mills

2.        Interim Real Estate Tax 47l.8 mills

3.        Per Capita Tax – School Code $5.00

4.        Per Capita tax – Act 5ll $10.00

5.        Occupational Privilege Tax $10.00

6.        Business Privilege Tax l mill wholesale

l.5 mills retail

$5.00 license fee

7.    Mercantile Tax l mill wholesale

l.5 mills retail

$2.00 license fee

8.     Real Estate Transfer Tax 1%

9.   Amusement Tax 10%, as amended by   current law

Mr. Mecleary seconded the motion. 

Dr. Spitz inquired as to the $126,262,307 figure, and why that is different from the total general fund expenditures.  Dr. Spitz inquired whether that has something to do with Federal programs.  Mr. Paradise advised that the Federal programs are included in the document interspersed.  This is a merged document.  Mr. Paradise advised that the difference is the capital project fund.

Mrs. Butville questioned what the amount was in the fund balance.  Mr. Paradise stated that page 67 reflects a fund balance of $3,290,00.

Mr. Schoenstadt requested a roll call vote on the Adoption of the 2002-2003 Budget.  The tally of the roll call vote indicated the motion was approved with six ayes, Mr. Schoenstadt, Mrs. Bostwick, Mr. Dengler, Dr. Spitz, Mr. Mecleary, Ms. Drioli and three nays, Mrs. Jowett, Mrs. Butville and Mr. Eccles.

Motion:  Appointment of an Architect

Mr. Dengler presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, the School Board wishes to explore options on new construction, renovations or a combination of the aforementioned to our existing facilities.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors terminate its contract with BASCO and authorizes the Business Administrator to negotiate a contract with ATS&R subject to review by the Board Solicitor.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of School Directors recommends ATS&R consider BASCO as a local architect.

Mrs. Bostwick seconded the motion. 

Ms. Drioli commented that she wanted the audience and press to realize the operative word is “explore”.

The Board unanimously approved the motion.

Motion:  Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note

Mr. Eccles presented the following motion:

            Under the authority of Act 52 of 1978, The Local Government Unit Debt Act and the Internal Revenue Code, the Neshaminy School District is permitted to borrow an amount of money up to its cumulative cash flow deficit.  The District’s 2002-2003 cumulative cash flow deficit has been projected to be $5,000,000.  The Business Office has requested quotations from banks and other financial institutions.

                I, therefore, move the following:

                TO CERTIFY the projected cumulative cash flow deficit at $5,000,000 for the 2002-2003 fiscal year; and

                TO ACCEPT the proposal from Wachovia Bank to borrow the amount of $5,000,000 at a net interest cost of l.83l8 per annum; and

                TO OBTAIN a written legal opinion from the School District Solicitor as to the legality and validity of the Note and other legal matters pertaining to the issuance of the Note pursuant to the proposal from Wachovia Bank; and

                TO AUTHORIZE the officers of the Neshaminy Board of School Directors and the Business Administrator, subject to the written legal opinion from the School District Solicitor, to execute the necessary documents for completion and issuance of the Note.

Mrs. Jowett seconded the motion. 

Dr. Spitz requested Mr. Paradise to explain for the public’s benefit the purpose of the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note.   Mr. Paradise explained that under Act 52 the district is permitted an amount of money, the maximum of which is $5,000,000, under the parameters of that law.  The district can borrow at a very low interest rate and then legally reinvest the funds at a higher interest rate and basically make money that is referred to as “legalized arbitrage.”

The Board unanimously approved the motion.

Motion:  Budgetary Increase for Federal and Other Programs for 200l-2002

Mrs. Drioli presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, each year the Neshaminy Board of School Directors, in accordance with instructions from the Auditor General’s office, must increase its receipts and expenditures budget by the total amount of other programs; and

WHEREAS, this amount represents previously approved federal and other special program receipts and expenditures for the current fiscal year.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the total 200l-2002 adjusted budget for all funds with this increase will total $119,827,485.  Corresponding amounts should be added to both the revenue and expenditure side of the budget as indicated on the attached document.

Mr. Eccles seconded the motion.  The Board unanimously approved the motion.

Motion:  Year-End Budget Transfers

Mrs. Bostwick presented the following motion:

 WHEREAS, Section 687 of the Public School Code of 1949 requires that line item “…sums appropriated to specific purposes in the budget…” not be exceeded; and

 WHEREAS, under the school accounting system, line items have been determined to be major object levels within specific sub functions; and

 WHEREAS, year-end adjustments by the business office and auditors may cause such line items to be exceeded.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,  that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors, in accordance with directions from the Auditor General’s office, authorizes the administration to make those necessary budget transfers within and between accounts to prevent any possible over expenditure without exceeding the total budget for 2001-2002.

Mr. Mecleary seconded the motion.  The Board unanimously approved the motion.

Motion:  Board Policy #533 – Home Education

Mrs. Butville presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, the Neshaminy School District permits alternative approaches to education consistent with the needs of the community and the interests of individual parents and their children; and

WHEREAS, the Neshaminy School District believes that children benefit from participation in PIAA sports and Co-curricular activities; and

WHEREAS, the Neshaminy Board of School Directors supports the opportunity for Home Education student participation in certain PIAA sports and Co-curricular activities; and

WHEREAS, in order to keep District Board Policies updated, current, new, and revised policies are recommended by the Administration to the Board Policy Committee for review; and

WHEREAS, after review by the Board Policy Committee, the District is ready to recommend a revised Board Policy #533Home Education Program (with addendum – subject to change) 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Policy #533-Home Education be approved by the Board of School Directors.

Ms. Drioli seconded the motion. 

Mr. Eccles noted that this is the third meeting at which this policy has been attempted to be passed.  Mr. Eccles reiterated that passage of this home school policy would create a two-tier system within the district.  The district will consist of the students that need to abide by all the rules and policies set forth by this Board and then we will have students that do not.   Mr. Eccles stated that double standard is now in our Neshaminy School District vocabulary if this policy is passed.  Mr. Eccles further stated that the Solicitor and Superintendent have stated that the Board should not approve this policy.  Mr. Eccles expressed that the Board would create an injustice if this policy were passed.  The policy goes much deeper then anyone thinks by establishing a double standard that only the children will realize in years to come.  Mr. Eccles stated that there is also a philosophical issue.  Mr. Eccles stated that our schools are not good enough to educate their children, but we will allow these children and parents to pick and choose what extra curricular activity they want to participate in.

Ms. Drioli stated that double standards exist in all phases of life.  Ms. Drioli agreed with the philosophy that she is not happy about home-schooled students, because it is a way of telling the district that it is not good enough.  Ms. Drioli stated that she believes the parent makes that decision, and not the child.  Ms. Drioli stated that as much as she does not support home schooling, she would support this policy.

Mrs. Bostwick stated that by allowing this policy it may give the parents a chance to see the district is “good enough” and they may like to rejoin the community.  Mrs. Bostwick stated that these families pay the taxes, and this involvement, parental as well as child, will give them that opportunity.

Mrs. Butville noted that the home school policy as written contains rules that the parent of the home-schooled student will need to abide by.  Mrs. Butville stated that home schooling occurs for various reasons, not just because they are not satisfied with the district.

Mr. Eccles stated that he sees a double standard existing because of the uncertainty of who will monitor the program.  The district students are held to a standard to participate in athletics, if they miss or have three unexcused absences they cannot participate.  Mr. Eccles stated that if the student has a failing grade and is failing another course they cannot participate.  This is monitored on a weekly basis.  Home schooling is done yearly.  Mr. Eccles questioned who would enforce this. 

Mrs. Butville stated that if the student wishes to participate in one of the district’s sports the student would be looked at weekly, just as the regular students.  Mr. Eccles questioned who would be handling that?  Mrs. Butville responded that it would be the responsibility of the parents to be certain the correct information is provided to the school district, and the principal of the school that the student will be participating at.

Mr. Schoenstadt questioned whether the Administration would have an additional burden of monitoring the home-schooled students, in reality, creating the double standard.  The Administration would have an added responsibility, over and above that which the normal student requires.   Mr. Schoenstadt expressed that he cannot find himself able to support the policy, since in the past the district has always accepted the recommendations of the Administrators, who are the full time operating personnel of the district, who recommend against this policy.  Further, Mr. Schoenstadt stated the legal issues regarding the state legislature who has not yet resolved the issue after five years of debating, have not provided guidelines to follow.

Mrs. Drioli stated that she would like to see the vote taken.

Mrs. Butville stated that forty percent of all of the schools in Pennsylvania already allow home-schooled students to participate, in spite of everything that has been stated.

Mr. Schoenstadt requested a roll call vote on Board Policy #533 – Home Education.  The tally of the roll call vote indicated that the motion was approved with five ayes, Mrs. Bostwick, Mrs. Butville, Ms. Drioli, Mr. Mecleary and Dr. Spitz and four nays, Mr. Schoenstadt, Mr. Dengler, Mr. Eccles and Mrs. Jowett.

Federal Programs Mr. Wilson stated that federal programs again brought in additional monies in the amount of $1,693,027.  Mr. Wilson stated that hopefully federal grants would continue to be received by the district and have increased funds for next year.

Other Board Business No other Board business.

CorrespondenceNo correspondence.

Public Comment - Mr. Schneider expressed his thanks to the Board for the passing of the home school policy.

Mr. Phoenix Heslin also thanked the Board for allowing home-schooled students to participate in extra curricular activities. 

Board CommentMr. Mecleary announced that within the next thirty days he will be leaving the Board and this would be his last public meeting, unless one was held in July.  Mr. Mecleary stated that it was a pleasure serving on the Board.  Mr. Mecleary stated that his family was moving to Delaware in August.


Mr. Schoenstadt expressed that it was a pleasure serving with Mr. Mecleary and stated that even though all items were not always agreed upon, Mr. Mecleary’s opinions were respected and his hard work and dedication were appreciated. Mr. Schoenstadt stated that Mr. Mecleary has devoted many hours over and above what would normally be required.

Dr. Spitz also congratulated Mr. Mecleary and stated that the time he has known Mr. Mecleary has been very influential and an example of what a good school board member should be.  Dr. Spitz also thanked Dr. Bowman for his genuine interest in the education of children and the district will miss him and will be hard pressed to get along without him. 

Mr. Dengler added his congratulations to Mr. Mecleary, and stated that he had the privilege of serving as Vice-President of the Board when he was President and also of being his elementary school teacher.

Mrs. Butville thanked the Administration for working very hard to reduce the budget in a very difficult budget year.   Mrs. Butville stated that the reason she voted against the budget was because she felt that more of the fund balance should have been used to lower the millage for this year. 

Ms. Drioli expressed that she would miss both Dr. Bowman and Mr. Mecleary.

Mr. Schoenstadt moved the meeting be adjourned and Mr. Eccles seconded the motion.  The Board unanimously approved the motion.  Mr. Schoenstadt adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Anita E. Walls
Board Secretary


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