Franklin Area School District

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Franklin Area School District
Map of Venango County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
417 13th Street
Franklin, Pennsylvania, Venango, 16323
United States
Information
Superintendent Dr. Pamela R. Dye
Specialist Mrs. Denise Phipps, Supervisor of Special Ed/Director of Student Support Services
Administrator Ms. Laura Urban - Board Secretary/Business Manager
Principal Mr. Gary Canfora, Principal HS
Principal Mrs. Christina Cohlhepp, Principal, MS
Principal Ms. Brenda Fry, Principal Sandycreek ES
Principal Mr. Matt Siembida, Principal Central ES
Principal Mr. Dale Ishman, Principal Victory ES
Grades K-12
Enrollment 2097 pupils enrolled in 2010[1]
Kindergarten 159
Grade 1 139
Grade 2 140
Grade 3 173
Grade 4 155
Grade 5 149
Grade 6 150
Grade 7 151
Grade 8 177
Grade 9 159
Grade 10 179
Grade 11 176
Grade 12 190
Other Enrollment projected to be over 2000 in 2020.
Team name Franklin Knights
Website

Franklin Area School District (FASD) is a rural, public school system headquartered in Franklin, Venango County, located in western Pennsylvania.[2] Franklin Area School District encompasses approximately 186 square miles. It serves the residents of: Canal Township, Frenchcreek Township, Irwin Township, Mineral Township, Sandycreek Township, Victory Township, along with the boroughs of: Barkeyville, Clintonville, Polk and Utica. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 16,598. In 2009, Franklin Area School District residents’ per capita income was $17,008, while the median family income was $39,801.[3] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[4] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[5] Per school district officials, in school year 2007-08, Franklin Area School District provided basic educational services to 2,287 pupils through the employment of 187 teachers, 127 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 11 administrators. In 2006, the 2,122 student population was white 93%, black 5%, Asian 1%, native American less than 0.5% and 1% Hispanic.[6] Franklin Area School District received more than $15.9 million in state funding for the school year 2007-08.

The district operates a high school (9th through 12th grades ), a middle school (7th and 8th grades) and six elementary schools (K-6th grade).

Academic achievement[edit]

Franklin Area School District was ranked 355th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2011, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on five years of student academic performance based on the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and three years of science.[7]

  • 2010 - 324th
  • 2009 - 301st
  • 2008 - 336th
  • 2007 - 363rd out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts.[8]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Franklin Area School District, was in the 27th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania's 500 school districts. Scale (0-99; 100 is state best)[9]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2011 the graduation rate at Franklin Area High School was 86%.[10] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Franklin Area School District's rate was 81% for 2010.[11]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Franklin Area School Board has determined that a student must earn 23.75 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 3 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Health 0.5 credit, Gym 1 credit, Arts Humanities 2 credits, Driver Ed. 0.5 credits and 6 electives.[15]

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.[16] Students are required to give an oral presentation of their project.[17]

By Pennsylvania State 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.[18]

High school[edit]

Franklin Area High School is located at 246 Pone Lane, Franklin, PA 16323. It had approximately 792 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year. (Grades 9-12)[19] In 2010 the school reported 704 pupils enrolled in grades 9 through 12, with 46 teachers.[20]

In 2011, Franklin Area High School declined to Warning status due to lagging student achievement in reading and math. In 2010, the school achieved AYP status, while in 2009, it was in "Warning" status due to low student achievement.[21] In 2010, the science, math and reading scores of 11th grade males significantly lag those of the class of 2011's females.

11th Grade Reading:
  • 2011 - 57% on grade level (24% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[22]
  • 2010 - 69% (17% below basic). State - 66%[23]
  • 2009 - 62% (20% below basic). State - 65%[24]
  • 2008 - 70% (9% below basic). State - 65%[25]
  • 2007 - 72% (15% below basic). State - 65%[26]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2011 - 61% on grade level (24% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[27]
  • 2010 - 56% (25% below basic). State - 59%[28]
  • 2009 - 54% (26% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 57% (21% below basic), State - 56%
  • 2007 - 50% (26% below basic), State - 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2011 - 34% on grade level (22% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[29]
  • 2010 - 34% (19% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 25% (25% below basic). State - 40%[30]
  • 2008 - 32% (19% below basic), State - 39%

Franklin Area High School sends some students between 10th and 12th grade to the Venango Technology Center in the mornings for various courses.[31]

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school offers the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[32] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[33] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[34] In 2010, the district received a $1,206 state grant to be used to assist students with tuition, fees and books.

SAT scores[edit]

From January to June 2011, 85 Franklin Area High School students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 486. The Math average score was 485. The Writing average score was 470.[35] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among state with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[36] In the United States, 1.65 million students took the exam in 2011. They averaged 497 (out of 800) verbal, 514 math and 489 in writing.[37]

Netbooks program[edit]

In 2010, the administration began a computer loan program called One to One Initiative. Full-time high school students may borrow a netbook computer from the school for a fee of $25. The students are also encouraged to take out insurance on the netbooks through the school. There is a $25 deductible for the repair of the netbook. The computer must be returned if the student is no longer registered at the school district.[38]

Litigation[edit]

The school board fired then Central Elementary School principal, Lee V. McFerren, in 2008, after a lengthy hearing process. McFerren sued the district. In court, McFerren argued he was hired to clean up a school that was suffering academically, with students and staff members who were out of control. Then Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak upheld the district’s termination of McFerren.[39] The Commonwealth Court found in favor of McFerren.[40] The district reports spending more that $80,000 in legal fees (2 mills of property taxes) defending itself in the case.[41]

Middle school[edit]

The middle school is located on the second floor of the high school. It had approximately 379 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year. (Grades 7-8)[19] In 2010, Franklin Area Middle School reported 328 pupils enrolled in grades 7 and 8, with 25 teachers.[42]

In 2011, Frankliln Area Middle School improved to AYP status.[43] In 2010, Franklin Area Middle School was in Making Progress: in School Improvement I AYP status. In 2009, the school was in School Improvement I AYP status due to lagging student achievement.[44] The attendance rate was 93%. Boys' reading skills were significantly behind girls in 2010 - Boys - 62% on grade level | Girls- 73%. Math skills are Boys - 74% on grade level, Girls- 79%.

8th Grade Reading:

  • 2011 - 70% on grade level (18% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81.8% of 8th graders on grade level.[45]
  • 2010 - 65% (19% below basic). State - 81%[46]
  • 2009 - 69% (22% below basic), State - 80%
  • 2008 - 72% (21% below basic), State - 78%[47]
  • 2007 - 71% (13% below basic), State - 75%

8th Grade Math:

  • 2011 - 77% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 68% (23% below basic). State - 75%[48]
  • 2009 - 71% (14% below basic), State - 71%[49]
  • 2008 - 70% (16% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 62% (17% below basic), State - 68%

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 55% on grade level (25% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 46% (33% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 52% (23% below basic), State - 55%[50]
  • 2008 - 57% (18% below basic), State - 52%[51]

7th Grade Reading

  • 2011 - 56% on grade level (21% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2010 - 68% (13% below basic). State - 73%
  • 2009 - 56% (22% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2008 - 62% (23% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 56% (22% below basic), State - 67%

7th Grade Math:

  • 2011 - 73% on grade level 48% advanced, (12% below basic). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 - 85%, 66% advanced (9% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2009 - 66% (17% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2008 - 75% (13% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2007 - 72% (17% below basic), State - 67%

Elementary schools[edit]

There are six elementary schools serving the district.[19]

A three-year pilot program for uniforms was proposed by Central Elementary principal Lee McFerren in order to "blur socioeconomic distinctions and improve discipline and the learning environment". The policy required solid shirts of any color and black, khaki and navy pants with no more than four pockets. The program went into effect in 2005-06 at Central and across the remaining schools during the following year. During a regular board meeting on July 14, 2008, the board passed a vote that all-but-ended the near-uniform dress code that had existed for elementary students since the 2005-2006 school year. Logos, writing and pictures - including on crew neck shirts are permitted under the revised policy.[52]

Central Elementary[edit]

Located at 1276 Otter St, Franklin, PA 16323. It had approximately 254 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year.[19] In 2010, enrollment was 282 pupils in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade with 21 teachers.[53]

In 2011, Central Elementary School reported a 94% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The reading achievement of boys significantly lagged that of girls. Boys (63% on grade level) / Girls (70% on grade level). The math achievement of girls seriously lagged that of boys. Boys (81% on grade level) / Girls (71% on grade level).[54]

In 2010, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly lagged that of girls. Boys (58% on grade level) / Girls (74% on grade level). The math achievement of boys also lagged that of girls. Boys (70% on grade level) / Girls (78% on grade level).[55] Report Card 2010 [1]

Polk Elementary[edit]

Located at 196 Church St, P.O. Box 976, Polk, PA 16342. It has approximately 148 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year.[19] There are 127 pupils grades Kindergarten through 6th grade with 10 teachers, in 2010.[56]

In 2011, the school declined to 94% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The reading achievement of boys significantly lagged that of girls. Boys (70% on grade level) Girls (85% on grade level). The Math achievement of boys (87% on grade level)remains higher than that of girls (74% on grade level).[57]

In 2010, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly lagged that of girls. Boys (54% on grade level) Girls (68% on grade level). The Math achievement of boys (80% on grade level) significantly exceeded that of girls (74% on grade level).[58] Report Card 2010 [2]

Sandycreek Elementary[edit]

Located at 297 Pone Lane, Franklin, PA 16323 (across from the high school/middle school). It has approximately 245 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year.[19] In 2010, there are 232 pupils grades Kindergarten through 6th grade, with 18 teachers.[59]

In 2011, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The reading achievement of boys seriously lagged that of girls. Boys (68% on grade level) / Girls (81% on grade level). The math achievement of boys also lagged that of girls significantly. Boys (70% on grade level) / Girls (83% on grade level).[60]

In 2010, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly lagged that of girls. Boys (62% on grade level) / Girls (75% on grade level). The math achievement of boys and girls was even. Boys (82% on grade level) / Girls (80% on grade level).[61]

In 2010, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly lagged that of girls. Boys (62% on grade level) / Girls (75% on grade level). The math achievement of boys and girls was even. Boys (82% on grade level) / Girls (80% on grade level).[61] Report Card 2010 [3]

Seventh Street Elementary[edit]

Located at 310 7th St, Franklin, PA 16323. It has approximately 139 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year.[19] In 2010 the school reported having 114 pupils kindergarten through 6th grades with 9 teachers.[62]

In 2010, the school reported a 93% attendance rate.[63] The school achieved AYP status in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The reading achievement of boys significantly lags that of girls. Boys (77% on grade level) / Girls (86% on grade level). The math achievement of boys lags that of girls. Boys (81% on grade level) / Girls (86% on grade level).[64]

In 2010, the school reported a 94% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly exceeds that of girls. Boys (91% on grade level) / Girls (83% on grade level). The math achievement of boys also significantly exceeds that of girls. Boys (86% on grade level) / Girls (79% on grade level).[65] Report Card 2010 [4]

Utica Elementary[edit]

Located at 3823 Academy St, Utica, PA 16362. It has approximately 87 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year.[19] In 2010, there were 90 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th grade with 11 teachers.[66]

In 2011, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The school wide reading achievement is Boys (77% on grade level) / Girls (75% on grade level). The math achievement of boys is lower than girls. Boys (88% on grade level) / Girls (94% on grade level).[67] Report Card 2010 [5]

In 2010, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly trails that of girls. Boys (73% on grade level) / Girls (84% on grade level). The math achievement of boys is even girls. Boys (91% on grade level) / Girls (94% on grade level).[68]

In May 2011, the school received a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant of $8,857 the funds to be used to purchase physical education equipment.

Victory Elementary[edit]

Located at 1819 Georgetown Rd, Harrisville, PA 16038. It has approximately 227 students enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year.[19] In 2010, there were 220 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th grades with 17 teachers.[69]

In 2011, the school reported a 92% attendance rate.[70] The school achieved AYP status in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The reading achievement of the students is below statewide levels. Boys (62% on grade level) / Girls (66% on grade level). The math achievement of boys significantly trails that of girls. Boys (76% on grade level) / Girls (86% on grade level).[71]

In 2010, the school reported a 94% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status in 2009 and 2010. The reading achievement of boys significantly trails that of girls. Boys (68% on grade level) / Girls (83% on grade level). The math achievement of boys is behind girls. Boys (75% on grade level) / Girls (80% on grade level).[72] Report Card 2010 [6]

2006-07 Achievement[edit]

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) "is a standards-based criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable a student to attain proficiency of the standards".[73] The test is given annually to every Pennsylvania student in grades 3-8 and grade 11. All students are tested in math and reading, while students in grades 5,8, and 11 are also assessed in writing.

For the 2006-2007 academic year, Franklin Area School District district wide results were:
Number Math scored: 1,128 (930,999)
Math Advanced: 36.1% (38.2%)
Math Proficient: 34.3% (31.0%)
Math Basic: 14.8% (15.4%)
Math Below Basic: 14.8% (15.4%)

Number Reading scored: 1,128 (929,484)
Reading Advanced: 29.8% (31.2%)
Reading Proficient: 37.9% (36.4%)
Reading Basic: 14.9% (16.0%)
Reading Below Basic: 17.4% (16.4%)[74][75]

Summer school[edit]

The district offers an extensive summer school program for students in first grade through 12th grade.

Special education[edit]

In December 2009, the district administration reported that 582 pupils or 27.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[76]

In accordance with state and federal law, the 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. 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 Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. 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 Special Education Department.[77]

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.[78] The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[79] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[80] Overidentification of students in order to increase state funding has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[81]

Franklin Area School District received a $1,435,204 supplement for special education services in 2010.[82] For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. 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.[83]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 117 or 5.58% of its students were gifted in 2009.[84] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum by the classroom teacher.[85] This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, and dual enrollment with local colleges. 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 will also be considered for eligibility.[86]

Bullying and school safety[edit]

The Franklin Area School District administration reported there were 5 incidents of bullying in the district in 2010.[87][88]

The Franklin Area School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[89] All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[90] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[91]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[92]

Budget[edit]

In 2009, the district reports employing over 190 teachers with a starting salary of $40,000 for 180 days of pupil instruction.[93] The average teacher salary was $52,248 while the maximum salary is $102,275.[94] 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.[95] The school day is limited by the union contract to 7.5 hours. The administration is required to appoint 11 teacher coordinators who receive compensation for the title. Additionally, Franklin Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 15 paid sick days and many other benefits. Teachers are paid extra when they are required to work outside of the regular school day hours. Teachers receive extra compensation for additional duties.[96] According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[97]

In 2007, the district employed 166 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $49,480 for 180 school days worked. Franklin teachers were the highest paid in Venango County.[98]

Franklin Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $857.56 per pupil. The district is ranked 136th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[99] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[100]

In 2008, Franklin Area School District reported spending $13,362 per pupil. This ranked 145th in the commonwealth.[101] In 2010, the district's per pupil spending had increased to $14,524.97, which ranked 149th statewide.[102] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[103] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[104]

In May 2011, the school board adopted a 2011-2012 Proposed Final General Operating Budget for the 2011-2012 school year. It anticipated revenues of $30,563,914 and expenditures of $31,672,356 to include an approximate fund balance draw down of $1,108,442.

Reserves

In 2009, Franklin Area School District reported $4,788,676 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $1,370,311.[105] In 2010, Franklin Area School District reported $1,415,523. in its unreserved-undesignated fund. The designated fund balance was reported as $2,357,623. Pennsylvania school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending, in the undesignated reserve funds, to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[106]

In January 2011, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Serious findings were reported to the administration and school board. The audit noted that the administration had failure to apply for Alternative Education Funding.[107]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a state wide real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the individual's wealth.[108]

State basic education funding[edit]

In 2011-12, the district received a $11,067,679 allocation, of State Basic Education Funding.[109][110] Additionally, Franklin Area School District received $162,272 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state 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.[111] The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12.[112] In 2010, the district reported that 1,016 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[113]

For the 2010-11 school year, the Franklin Area School District received a 2.41% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $12,063,578 payment.[114] Valley Grove School District received a 3.88% increase, which was the highest increase in BEF in Venango County. 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 was determined by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocations set in the state education budget proposal.[115]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 6.43% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $11,779,552. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $11,067,679.29. The district also received supplemental funding for English language learners, Title 1 federal funding for low-income students, for district size, a poverty supplement from the commonwealth and more.[116] This was the highest increase in BEF awarded by the Commonwealth, in Venango County, for the 2009-10 school year. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The amount of increase each school district received was set by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal.[117]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 889 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income, in the 2007-2008 school year.[118]

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, Franklin Area School District applied for and received $440,446 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide all-day kindergarten for the 7th year.[119][120]

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. Franklin Area School District was denied funding for 2006-07 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Administration did not apply for funding in the subsequent two years funding was available. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future state grant awards.[121]

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11, Franklin Area School District received $82,314.[122]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $3,117,278 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[123] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. .[124] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly warned to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs in buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Franklin Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[125] 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.[126][127] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[128]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Franklin 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.[129] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Franklin Area School Board increased the property tax rates for 2011-2012 to 17.3400 mills.[130] A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. 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. 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. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. 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.[131]

  • 2010-11 - 17.0000 mills[132]
  • 2009-10 - 17.0000 mills.[133]
  • 2008-09 - 17.0000 mills.[134]
  • 2007-08 - 17.0000 mills.[135]

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 authorized to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or the school board seeks one or more exceptions from the state's Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index 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, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling 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.[136]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Franklin Area School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.[137]

  • 2006-07 - 5.6%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 4.9%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.3%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 5.9%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 4.2%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.4%, Base 1.7%[138]

For the 2011-12 school year, Franklin Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, Franklin 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 published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[139]

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.[140]

Franklin Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009-10 or in 2010-11.[141] 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.[142]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Franklin Area School District was $221 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 4,220 property owners applied for the tax relief.[143] The tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property on the individual's 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. The Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 73% of property owners applied for tax relief in Venango County.[144] In Venango County, the highest property tax relief in 2009 was $274 awarded to the approved property owners in Oil City Area School District. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[145] This was the second year Chester Upland School District was the top recipient.

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, consequently individuals who have income substantially more than $35,000, may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.[146]

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]

School Governance[edit]

The Franklin Area School District is governed by a nine-member board. While the board is popularly elected, the board itself is headed by a president chosen by the board. Current members of the board are: Catherine Bollinger, William Deal, James Fryman, Michelle Hingl, Erin Leccia, William Mook, Randy Seitz (Vice-President), Brian Spaid (President), Lynn Smith.[148]

The Superintendent of the district is Dr. Pamela R. Dye.[149]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and sports. These program begin with elementary children and extends through high school athletics. Eligibility to participate in these activities is determined by school board policy.[150][151]

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 home schooled, 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.[152][153][154]

The district employs an athletic director and 2 assistant directors, along with over 40 coaches and assistants to provide the athletics program. Weightlifting is available to students year round. These is also an elementary basketball program which is open to both boys and girls.[155]

The district offers other sports through a cooperative agreement, with neighboring Valley Grove School District. These sports include: football, tennis, volleyball, soccer, track (Boys & Girls), and wrestling. Students pay a $25 fee (2010) to participate in these cooperative sports.

Additionally, the marching band programs is in cooperation with Valley Grove School District.

Franklin Area High School has won two state basketball championships. In 2001 and 2006, the boys team, playing in PIAA class AAA district 10, defeated Allentown Central Catholic and Communications Tech (Philadelphia), respectively.[7]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Franklin Area School District
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  6. ^ New York Times. "Diversity in the classroom". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 4, 2011). "Statewide Honor Roll Information". 
  8. ^ "Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County". Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007. 
  9. ^ "2009 PSSA RESULTS Franklin Area School District". The Morning Call. Retrieved June 2011. 
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Franklin Area High School". 
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Franklin Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2010 data table". Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 25, 2009). "Venango County Graduation Rates 2008". 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. "High School Graduation rate 2007". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  15. ^ Franklin Area School Board (2010). "Franklin Area High School Course Guide 2010-11". 
  16. ^ State Board of Education Pennsylvania. "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements". 
  17. ^ Franklin Area School Administration (2010). "Franklin Area Graduation Project". 
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  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Franklin Area High School School AYP Overview". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009-2010 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  24. ^ The Times-Tribune. (September 2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 PSSA results,". 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2008). "2007-2008 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2007). "PSSA Math and Reading results". 
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  29. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA results in Science". 
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  31. ^ Venango Technology Center: Sending Schools
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  37. ^ "While U.S. SAT scores dip across the board, N.J. test-takers hold steady". NJ.com. September 2011. 
  38. ^ Franklin Area School District Administration (August 2010). "Franklin Area High School One-to-One Laptop Initiative Information Packet". 
  39. ^ Tom Davidson (April 2010). "Court says district was wrong to fire McFerren". Meadville Tribune. 
  40. ^ Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt (October 13, 2009). "Lee V. McFerren, Petitioner v. Farrell Area School District, Respondent". 
  41. ^ Tom Davidson. "Farrell to eye next step following ruling in McFerren's favor". Meadville Tribune. 
  42. ^ National Center for Education Statistics Common Core Data (2010). "Franklin Area Middle School Directory Information". 
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  48. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (September 14, 2010). "2010 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results". 
  49. ^ 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results Pennsylvania Department of Education Report
  50. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (August 28, 2009). "Science PSSA 2009 by Schools". 
  51. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (August 15, 2008). "Science PSSA 2008 by Schools". 
  52. ^ The Derrick
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  61. ^ a b Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Sandycreek Elementary School - School AYP Overview". 
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  68. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Utica Elementary School - School AYP Overview". 
  69. ^ National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data (2010). "Victory Elementary School - School Directory Information". 
  70. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Victory Elementary School - School AYP Overview". 
  71. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Utica Elementary School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  72. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Utica Elementary School - School AYP Overview". 
  73. ^ PSSA home
  74. ^ PSSA District Results
  75. ^ PSAA Pennsylvania state-wide Results
  76. ^ Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education (January 31, 2011). "Franklin Area School District Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets School Year 2009-2010". 
  77. ^ Franklin Area School District Administration (2010). "Franklin Area School District Special Education Services". 
  78. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Special Education Funding". 
  79. ^ Senator Patrick Browne (November 1, 2011). "Senate Education Committee Holds Hearing on Special Education Funding & Accountability". 
  80. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Amy Morton, Executive Deputy Secretary (November 11, 2011). "Public Hearing: Special Education Funding & Accountability Testimony". 
  81. ^ Baruch Kintisch Education Law Center (November 11, 2011). "Public Hearing: Special Education Funding & Accountability Testimony". 
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  84. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (Revised December 1, 2009 Child Count (Collected July 2010)). "Gifted Students as Percentage of Total Enrollment by School District/Charter School".  Check date values in: |date= (help)
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  86. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania School Board. "CHAPTER 16. Special Education For Gifted Students". Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  87. ^ Pennsylvania Office of Safe Schools. "Franklin Area School District School Safety Annual Report 2009 - 2010". Retrieved February 8, 2011. 
  88. ^ "Pennsylvania Safe Schools Online Reports". February 2011. 
  89. ^ Franklin Area School District Administration (October 27, 2008). "Franklin Area School District Bullying/Cyberbullying Policy 249". 
  90. ^ "Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8". 
  91. ^ "Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania, Bullying Prevention advisory". Retrieved January 2011. 
  92. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Academic Standards". 
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  95. ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
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  97. ^ "Legislature must act on educators' pension hole.". The Patriot News. February 21, 2010. 
  98. ^ Fenton, Jacob,. "Average classroom teacher salary in Venango County, 2006-07.". The Morning Call. Retrieved June 2011. 
  99. ^ Fenton, Jacob. (Feb 2009). "Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, '". The Morning Call. 
  100. ^ Pennsylvania School Board Association (October 2009). "Public School Salaries 11th Annual". 
  101. ^ "Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort by Administrative Spending". 
  102. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009-10 Selected Data - 2009-10 Total Expenditures per ADM". 
  103. ^ United States Census Bureau (2009). "States Ranked According to Per Pupil Elementary-Secondary Public School System Finance Amounts: 2008-09". 
  104. ^ US Census Bureau (2009). [.http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_183.asp "Total and current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary education, by function and state or jurisdiction: 2006-07"]. 
  105. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Fund Balances by Local Education Agency 1997 to 2008". 
  106. ^ Jan Murphy (September 22, 2010). "Pennsylvania's public schools boost reserves". 
  107. ^ Pennsylvania Office of Auditor General (January 2011). "FRANKLIN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT". 
  108. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (October 2010). "Personal Income Tax Information". 
  109. ^ PA Senate Appropriations Committee (June 28, 2011). "School District 2011-12 Funding Report". 
  110. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2011). "Basic Education Funding". 
  111. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 30, 2011). "Basic Education Funding". 
  112. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 30, 2011). "Basic Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  113. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, District Allocations Report 2010, 2010-11
  114. ^ Pennsylvania house Appropriations Committee (August 2010). "PA House Appropriations Committee Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010-2011". 
  115. ^ Office of Budget, (February 2010). "Pennsylvania Budget Proposal,". 
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  117. ^ Pennsylvania Office of Budget (February 2009). "Governor's Budget Proposal 2009 Pennsylvania Department of Education Budget Proposal 2009,". 
  118. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Funding Report by LEA 2009
  119. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Accountability Block Grant report 2010, Grantee list 2010". 
  120. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Accountability Block Grant Mid Year report". 
  121. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (2008-12-22). "Special Performance Audit Classrooms For the Future grants". 
  122. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Educational Assistance Program Funding 2010-2011 Fiscal Year". Retrieved January 2011. 
  123. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. "Venango County ARRA FUNDING Report". Retrieved February 2011. 
  124. ^ "School stimulus money". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 12, 2009. 
  125. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Press Release (January 19, 2009). "Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support". 
  126. ^ Dr. Gerald Zahorchak (December 2008). "Pennsylvania Race to the Top Letter to Superintendents". 
  127. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 19, 2009). "Pennsylvania Race to the Top -School Districts Title I Allocations 2009-10". 
  128. ^ U.S. Department of Education (March 29, 2010). "Race to the Top Fund". 
  129. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Common Cents program - Making Every Dollar Count". Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  130. ^ Franklin Area School Board Secretary (May 16, 2011). "Franklin Area School District School Board Highlights". 
  131. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education,. "Act 511 Tax Report, 2004". 
  132. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Real Estate Tax Millage by School District,". 
  133. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Financial Elements Reports". 
  134. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Financial Elements Reports 2008-09 Real Estate Mills". 
  135. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2008). "Real Estate Tax Millage by School District,". 
  136. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010-11 Act 1 of 2006 Referendum Exception Guidelines.
  137. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 School District Adjusted Index for 2006-2007 through 2011-2012". 
  138. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2011). "2012-2013 School District Adjusted Index Listing". 
  139. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 the Taxpayer Relief Act information". 
  140. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2011). "Report on Exceptions". 
  141. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Report on Referendum Exceptions for 2010-2011". 
  142. ^ Scarcella, Frank and Pursell, Tricia (May 25, 2010). "Local school tax assessments exceed state averages". The Daily Item. 
  143. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2009). "Estimated Tax Relief Per Homestead and Farmstead May 1, 2009". 
  144. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office, (2010-02-23). "Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief,". 
  145. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, (May 2010). "Tax Relief per Homestead 5-1-10. Report". 
  146. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program". 
  147. ^ Tax Foundation, (September 22, 2009). "New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners,". 
  148. ^ Franklin Area School District Home
  149. ^ Franklin Area School District Home
  150. ^ Franklin Area School Board (August 2007). "Extracurricular Activities Policy 122". 
  151. ^ Franklin Area School Board (August 2010). "Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123". 
  152. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities,". 
  153. ^ Franklin Area School Board (August 2010). "Extracurricular Participation by Home Education Student Policy 137.1". 
  154. ^ Franklin Area School Board (August 2010). "Extracurricular Participation by Charter/Cyber Charter Students Policy 140.1". 
  155. ^ Franklin Area School District Board (May 2011). "Franklin Area School District Board Highlights".