Carlisle Area School District

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Carlisle Area School District
Map of Cumberland County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
623 West Penn Street
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, 17013
United States
Information
Superintendent Mr. John W. Friend
Faculty 347 teachers (2010) [1]
Grades K-12
Pupils 4650 (2010) [2]
Kindergarten 375
Grade 1 378
Grade 2 341
Grade 3 361
Grade 4 392
Grade 5 341
Grade 6 327
Grade 7 362
Grade 8 349
Grade 9 370
Grade 10 351
Grade 11 350
Grade 12 353
Mascot Thundering Herd
Budget $69.3 million 2013-14[3]
Tuition For nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,468.02, HS - $8,903.56 [4]
Per Pupil Spending $12,127 (2008)
Per pupil spending $13,867.44 (2011)
Website

The Carlisle Area School District is a midsized, suburban, public school district that serves the boroughs of Carlisle and Mount Holly Springs and Dickinson Township and North Middleton Township in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Carlisle Area School District encompasses approximately 75 square miles (190 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 34,794. in 2009, the residents' per capita income was $22,214, while the districts' median family income was $52,276.[5] In school year 2007-08 the Carlisle Area School District provided basic educational services to 4,729 pupils through the employment of 376 teachers, 295 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 36 administrators, according to school district officials. The Carlisle Area School District received more than $18.3 million in state funding in school year 2007-08.

The district operates Carlisle High School, Lamberton Middle School, Wilson Middle School, Bellaire Elementary School, Crestview Elementary School, Hamilton Elementary School, LeTort Elementary School, Mooreland Elementary School, Mount Holly Springs Elementary School and North Dickinson Elementary School.

In 2011, the district agreed to participate in a pilot program to develop a new way to evaluate teachers that in part takes into account student achievement. Several Cumberland County school districts are participating.[6] The pilot program had 104 K-12 entities, including: nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units. Beginning in January 2012, Carlisle Area schools will use the new evaluation method and provide feedback to the Department of Education. This new evaluation will not be used to determine an educator’s official 2011-12 assessment.

Governance[edit]

The district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[7] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "C-" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[8]

The district is served by the Capital Area Intermediate Unit 15 which offers a variety of services, including a completely developed K-12 curriculum that is mapped and aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards (available online), shared services, a group purchasing program and a wide variety of special education and special needs services.

Academic achievement[edit]

The Carlisle Area School District was ranked 180th out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2013, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[9] The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for: math, reading, writing and science. The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

  • 2012 - 173rd
  • 2011 - 178th [10]
  • 2010 - 212th [11]
  • 2009 - 257th [12]
  • 2008 - 221st
  • 2007 - 197th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts.[13]

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Carlisle ranked 220th.The paper describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[14]

  • 2011 - 227th
  • 2010 - 296th
  • 2009 - 332nd

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2012 Carlisle Area School District's graduation rate improved to 90%. In 2011, Carlisle Area School District's graduation rate was 87%.[15] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Carlisle Area School District's rate was 88% for 2010.[16]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school[edit]

Carlisle Area High School is located at 623 West Penn St. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 1,479 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 325 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 111 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[22] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 13 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[23]

In 2012, Carlisle Area High School declined again to School Improvement I level AYP status due to low reading and math achievement. In 2011, Carlisle Area High School declined to Warning status.[24] In 2010, Carlisle Area High School achieved AYP status. In 2009, the High School was in Making Progress: in School Improvement I AYP status, due to lagging student achievement. In 2008, the High School was in School Improvement I for chronically lagging student achievement.

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 71% on grade level, (14% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[25]
  • 2011 - 75% (12% below basic). State - 69.1% [26]
  • 2010 - 73%, State - 67% [27]
  • 2009 - 66%, State - 65% [28]
  • 2008 - 59%, State - 64% [29]
  • 2007 - 64%, State - 65% [30]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 64% on grade level (20% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[31]
  • 2011 - 61%, on grade level (20% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 67%, State - 56%
  • 2009 - 60%, State - 56% [32]
  • 2008 - 47%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 47%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 40% on grade level (19% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[33]
  • 2011 - 43% on grade level (14% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[34]
  • 2010 - 46%, State - 39%
  • 2009 - 42%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 38%, State - 39% [35]

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 37% of the Carlisle High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[36] Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years.[37] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school offers the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. The school has an articulation agreement with Central Penn College. Over 400 school districts in Pennsylvania offer this state-funded program.[38][39]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Carlisle Area School Board has determined that students must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, 3 credits Math, 3 credits Science, 3 credits Social Studies, 2 credits in arts, 2 PE/health credits, 1 Safety credit, and 6 electives.[40]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[41]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[42]

Cyber school[edit]

The high school offers a Virtual Academy which permits students to earn a Carlisle Area School District diploma through taking online courses. The student continues to have access to all programs, including extracurriculars and school events.[43]

Lamberton Middle School[edit]

Lamberton Middle School is located at 777 S. Hanover Street. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 516 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 116 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 43 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[44] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[45]

In 2012, Lamberton Middle School declined to Warning AYP status. In 2011 and 2010, the school was in AYP status.[46] The attendance rate was 95% in 2010 and 2011.[47]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 90% on grade level, 73% advanced. In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[48]
  • 2011 - 87%, 65% advanced. State - 81.8%
  • 2010 - 88%, State - 81% [49]
  • 2009 - 83%, State - 80.9%
  • 2008 - 80%, State - 78%
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 89% on grade level, 69% advanced. State - 76% [50]
  • 2011 - 86% (7% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 83%, State - 75%
  • 2009 - 79%, State - 71%
  • 2008 - 68%, State - 70%
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 72% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 59% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 62% (17% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 67%, State - 57%
  • 2009 - 63%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 57%, State - 50%

Wilson Middle School[edit]

Wilson Middle School is located at 900 Waggoner's Gap Road. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 539 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 168 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 44 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[51] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[52]

In 2012, Wilson Middle School declined to Warning AYP status. In 2011 and 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[53] The attendance rate was 95% in 2010 and 2011.[54]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 86% on grade level (5% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[55]
  • 2011 - 89% (4% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 - 89%, State - 81% [56]
  • 2009 - 85%, State - 80.9%
  • 2008 - 80%, State - 78%
  • 2006 - 70%, State - 70%
  • 2005 - 55%, State - 64%
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 88% on grade level (2% below basic). State - 76% [57]
  • 2011 - 90% (2% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 90%, State - 75%
  • 2009 - 73%, State - 71%
  • 2008 - 68%, State - 70%
  • 2006 - 71%, State - 62% [58]
  • 2005 - 62%, State - 62%
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 60% on grade level (18% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 64% (18% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 62%, State - 57%
  • 2009 - 52%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 48%, State - 50%

Elementary schools[edit]

Bellaire Elementary School is located at 905 Waggoner's Gap Road. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 404 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 151 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 27 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[59] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[60] In 2012, Bellaire Elementary School decliend to Warning AYP status. In 2011 the School achieved AYP status.[61] In 2012, only 76% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 76% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 50% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 87% of the pupils were on grade level.[62]

Crestview Elementary School is located at 240 Longs Gap Road. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 518 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 119 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 30 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 17:1.[63] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind Act.[64]

In 2010 through 2012, Crestview Elementary School achieved AYP status.[65] In 2012, 83% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 84% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 56% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 95% of the pupils were on grade level.[66]

Special education[edit]

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 698 pupils or 14.4% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 26% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 717 pupils or 14.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[67][68]

In order to comply with state and federal laws, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.[69] To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Coordinator of Special Education.[70]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[71]

Carlisle Area School District received a $2,656,752 supplement for special education services in 2010.[72] In 2011-12 the school received the same level of funding, from the state, as 2010-11.

For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[73]

In 2009, Carlisle Area School District was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Least Restrictive Environment monitoring. One hundred ninety-six schools districts were selected in 2008-09. The district received an alert letter from the PDE - Bureau of Special Education.[74] School districts were placed in one of three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. The district was placed in Tier Three for the category of "other settings". The monitoring is a product of the PDE addressing its voluntary settlement in Gaskin V Pennsylvania which ordered that special education students spend most of their school day in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services to assist.[75][76][77] In 2010, the district remained on the Tier 3 monitoring list.[78]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 162 or 3.39% of its students were gifted in 2009.[79] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness must also be considered for eligibility.[80][81]

Budget[edit]

In 2007, the Carlisle Area School District employed 323 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $48,548 for 181 days worked.[82] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[83] Additionally, the Carlisle Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, vision insurance, Dental insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days (which accumulate), a retirement bonus and other benefits.[84] In 2011, the starting salary is $45,505. At Carlisle Area School District, the median teacher salary, in 2009, was $52,973, while the highest salary was $139,485.[85]

In June 2011, the union agreed to a 2% pay raise in 2011-12, rather than the 4% pledged in the contract,[86] while the school board approved a $66.1 million budget with a 3.5% real estate tax increase (the maximum allowed in the district by law) - generating another $1.2 million in revenue for the schools.[87] In 2011, the average teacher salary in CASD was $53,987 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $14,617.77 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $68,605.19.[88] According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector.[81] The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.

The Carlisle Area School Board extended the teachers contract through August 2014 - providing Carlisle Area School District teachers with a 3 percent raise in 2012-13, and a 3.1 percent pay increase in 2013-14.[89] This in comparison to a pay freeze (no raise) for Federal Civilian employees for 2012-2013. Carlisle Area School District teachers will contribute 16 2/3 percent of their health care plan premiums for 2012-2014. This compares to Federal Civilian employees being required to pay 25 percent or more of their health care plan premiums. The District provides up to 50% of assessment fees ($2,500.00) for National Board Certification, and pay when the candidate attains certification. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector.[90] The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[91]

Carlisle Area School District teacher retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.) [92]

Carlisle Area School District administrative costs in 2008 were $668.30 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398, in 2008.[93] The district provides an extensive benefit package to all administrators equal to that provided to the teachers.[94] On July 1, 2010, John Friend assumed superintendent duties with a five-year contract. His initial one-year salary for 2010-11 was set at $143,000.[95] Christina Spielbauer will assume Assistant Superintendent position in July 2009 at a salary of $96,000. Gary Worley, Assistant Superintendent's salary effective July 1, 2009 will be paid $120,000 annually. His role will be to supervise the High School and Middle School principals.[96]

In 2002, the District - School Board considered closing LeTort Elementary school due to a low enrollment of 160 pupils. Estimates reported the district would save $9 million over five years. It is still open in 2011 with a declining enrollment of 125 pupils. In June 2011, the district closed Plainfield Elementary School.[97]

Reserves

In 2008, the district reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $11,615,997.00.[98]

Energy project:

Carlisle Area School District installed 5,178 solar panels and seven inverters on 6.2 acres of the district's main campus. The project was proposed to generate 1.5 million kilowatt-hours per year, or 17 percent of the district’s annual electrical usage. Proponents claimed the solar array will save the district $150,000 per year in energy costs and avoid air emissions from traditional electricity generation. Additionally, the District established a renewable energy lab with a website, to educate students and the community. The district partnered with Dickinson College to share resources and expertise regarding energy generation, efficiency, conservation and career development. Carlisle Area School District was required to match a PEDA-ARRA grant (federal stimulus) of $1 million with more than $3.8 million of additional funds.

Audits

In December 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Carlisle Area School District. The findings were reported to the school board and administration. A prior audit of pupil membership data reported to Department of Education for the 2005-06 and 2004-05 school years found that District personnel could not provide adequate documentation to support resident, nonresident and vocational education membership days reported for either school year. As a result, the auditors were unable to verify if the District received the correct amount for subsidies and reimbursements based on membership data.[99]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax - 1.6%, a local real property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, and a per capita tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[100] Grants provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the income level.[101]

State basic education funding[edit]

In 2011-12, the Carlisle Area School District received $11,565,597 in state Basic Education Funding.[102] Additionally, the district will receive $205,579 in Accountability Block Grant funding.[103] The enacted Pennsylvania State Public Education Budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011. The Pennsylvania Department of Education reports that 1,448 Carlisle Area School District pupils received a federal free and reduced-price lunch, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[104] In 2010, the district reported that 1,449 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to their family meeting the federal poverty level.

For 2010-11, Carlisle Area School District received a 3.90% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $12,632,929 payment.[105] In Cumberland County the highest increase went to Camp Hill School District which was awarded a 13.99% increase in state BEF. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010-11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010-11. The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[106]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 5.12% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $12,158,246. Seven county school districts received increases of less than 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2009-10. Shippensburg Area School District received an 8.43% increase. In Pennsylvania, over 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The state's Basic Education Funding to the Carlisle Area School District in 2008-09 was $11,565,596.80.[107] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where a district received at least the same amount as the year before, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the first year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1,136 students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income in 2008.[108]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, the Carlisle Area School District applied for and received $557,992 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide all-day kindergarten the 7th year, to provide low class size K-3rd, to provide teacher training to provide research based instruction.[109][110]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Carlisle Area School District never applied for funding. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future state grant awards.[111]

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

The Environmental Education Grant Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates that 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection be set aside for environmental education. In 2010, Carlisle Area School District was awarded $3000 for students to participate in educational programs and activities on solar and wind energy, alternative transportation fuels and green building practices.[112]

Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence[edit]

Carlisle Area School District was a recipient of the award in 2010. It cited the installation of a 1000-kW photovoltaic array system which represents about 15 percent of the annual power used by the school district. This will save about $105,000 per year considering the sale of renewable energy credits of $0.25 kWh. The school district received a $1 million Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority award and a $950,000 Commonwealth Financing Authority Solar Energy Program award.[113]

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

The district received an extra $2,618,458 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[114] This extra federal funding is for 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Carlisle School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district up to one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[115] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[116] Pennsylvania was not approved in the first round of the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved. A second round of state Race to the Top application judging will occur in June 2010.[117]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Carlisle Area School Board chose to not permit the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program access to the district records. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[118] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Carlisle Area School Board set the 2014-2015 the property taxes were 12.9300 mills.[119] A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region. Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[120] When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[121] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[122]

  • 2013-14 - 12.6056 mills[123]
  • 2012-13 - 12.3706 mills[124]
  • 2011-12 - 14.3300 mills[125]
  • 2010-11 - 14.8300 mills.[126]
  • 2009-10 - 14.3300 mills.[127]
  • 2008-09 - 13.8000 mills.[128]
  • 2007-08 - 13.1000 mills.[129]
  • 2006-07 - 12.5800 mills [130]
  • 2005-06 - 12.0000 mills [131]

According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09.[132] The average yearly property tax paid by Cumberland County residents amounts to about 2.8% of their yearly income. Cumberland County is ranked 724th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[133]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but it can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, rising health care costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling local tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[134] With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly voted to end most of the Act 1 exceptions leaving only special education costs and pension costs. The cost of construction projects will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum.[135]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Carlisle Area School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.[136]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Carlisle Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[139]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Carlisle Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year the Carlisle Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[140]

According to a state report, for the 2011-2012 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[141]

Carlisle Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009-10 nor in 2010-11.[142][143] In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.[144]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Carlisle Area School District was $131 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 8,425 property owners applied for the tax relief. In Cumberland County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2009, went to Mechanicsburg Area School District at $140. The highest property tax relief, among Pennsylvania school districts, went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[145] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Cumberland County, 75.93% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[146]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, so people who make substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This rebate can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.

Property taxes in Pennsylvania are relatively high on a national scale. According to the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania ranked 11th in the U.S. in 2008 in terms of property taxes paid as a percentage of home value (1.34%) and 12th in the country in terms of property taxes as a percentage of income (3.55%).[147]

Wellness policy[edit]

Carlisle Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 -Student Wellness Policy 246.[148] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[149] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the district's policy for approval.

The district has received several grants to fund its fitness programs, including $12,000 from the Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation.[150]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Carlisle Area School District offers a wide variety of extracurriculars, including clubs, organizations and an extensive, costly sports program. The District's varsity and junior varsity athletic activities are under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policies.[151][152]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[153][154][155]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [156]

References[edit]

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  150. ^ Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation (2011). "Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation Past Grants Awarded". 
  151. ^ Carlisle Area School Board (May 2006). "Extracurriculars Policy 122". 
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  155. ^ Carlisle Area School Board (May 2006). "Extracurricular Participation By Charter/Cybercharter Students Policy 140.1". 
  156. ^ Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (2012). "PIAA School Directory". 

Coordinates: 40°12′36″N 77°12′26″W / 40.20994°N 77.20727°W / 40.20994; -77.20727