Milton Area School District

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Milton Area School District
Map of Northumberland County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Preparing students for 21st century success through Educational Excellence
Address
700 Mahoning Street
Milton, Pennsylvania, Union County, Northumberland County, 17847
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Cathy Groller[1] salary $115,000 (2012)
Administrator Brian L Snyder, Business Manager[2] salary $80,990 (2012)

Brian Ulmer - Director of Secondary Education
Mrs. Catherine Girton - Supervisor of Special Education
Heather Rabatin - School Psychologist - Elementary
Lindsie Wolfe - School Psychologist - Secondary
Marissa Petrone - 10th Grade Learning Support and Transition Coord.
Kathy Specht - Guidance Counselor
Aaron Slusser - Guidance Counselor
Leslie Robinson - Guidance Counselor
Rebecca Phillips - Guidance Counselor
David Newell - Guidance Counselor
Anne Fannick - Guidance Counselor
Elizabeth Anderson - Guidance Counselor

Director Rod Harris, Athletic Director
Principal David Slater, BES salary $69,997
Principal James Ellis, MES & WDES
Principal Greg Scogglas, MS
Principal Bryan Noaker, MAHS salary $81,124 (2012)
Vice principal Mellissa Day, MAHS
Staff 149 non teaching staff[3]
Faculty 170 2012),[4] 170 (2010)[5]
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils 2,173 pupils (2014),[6]

2,227 pupils (2012),[7]
2,277 pupils (2010),
2,350 pupils (2006-2007)[8]

Kindergarten 148 (2014),[9] 181 (2012),160 (2010)
Grade 1 180 (2012), 179 (2010)
Grade 2 193 (2012), 185 (2010)
Grade 3 156 (2012), 166 (2010)
Grade 4 168 (2012), 161(2010)
Grade 5 179 (2012), 171 (2010)
Grade 6 160 (2012), 167 (2010)
Grade 7 157 (2012), 156 (2010)
Grade 8 180 (2012), 180 (2010)
Grade 9 165 (2012), 181 (2010)
Grade 10 160 (2012), 180 (2010)
Grade 11 174 (2012), 175 (2010)
Grade 12 174 (2012), 170 (2010)
Other Enrollment projected at 2,476 in 2019[10]
Language English
Mascot Panther
Budget $31,303,160 (2014-2015)[11]

$29,664,215 (2013-2014)[12]
$29.3 million (2011-2012)[13]
$27 million (2010-2011)
$24.8 million (2007-2008)

Per pupil spending $10,612 (2008)
Per pupil spending $12,204.50 (2010)
Website
Miltonsdlogo.jpg
Map of Union County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

The Milton Area School District is a small, rural public school district headquartered in Milton, Pennsylvania. The District is located in Northumberland and Union counties. Milton Area School District encompasses approximately 85 square miles (220 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 15,510. By 2010, the Milton Area School District's population increased to 16,561 people.[14] In 2009, the Milton Area School District residents' per capita income was $17,781, while the median family income was $43,023 a year.[15] According to 2010 US Census Bureau data, the District's resident population rose to 16,561 people. The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 85.5% high school graduates and 13% college graduates.[16] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

Milton Area School District officials report that in school year 2009-10, the District provided basic educational services to 2,288 pupils. The District employed: 197 teachers, 115 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 16 administrators. Milton Area School District was a major local employer. Per school district officials, in school year 2005-06, Milton Area School District provided basic educational services to 2,307 pupils through the employment of 200 teachers, 109 full-time and part-time support personnel and 15 administrators.

Milton Area School District operates: three elementary schools, Milton Area Middle School, and Milton Area High School. In 2010, the Milton Area School District announced a three-phase community project that focused on enhancing pride, tradition, and increasing excellence in both the school and the Milton community. Phase I of this program involved promoting and supporting school colors in the community. Milton Area School District has purchased and displayed welcome signs in and around the community that welcomes visitors to Black Panther Country.[17]

The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit IU16 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Milton Area School 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.[18] 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 Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "D-" 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.[19]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2014, Milton Area School District ranked 287th out of 496 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[20] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[21] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

  • 2013 - 310th[22]
  • 2012 - 319th
  • 2011 - 327th [23]
  • 2010 - 359th [24]
  • 2009 - 323rd
  • 2008 - 356th [25]
  • 2007 - 356th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts for student academic achievement by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[26]
Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Milton Area School District ranked 196th. In 2011, the district was 152nd.[27] The editor 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."[28]

In 2009, the student academic achievement of the Milton Area School District fell in the lowest 14th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania public school districts. (0-99; 100 is state best)[29]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Milton Area School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to a low and declining graduation rate. Three of the District's schools did not achieve AYP.[30] In 2011, Milton Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[31] School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2009, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[32]

Graduation rate[edit]

Milton Area High School graduation rate declined to 81% in 2014.[33] The Milton Area High School graduation rate was 85.5% in 2013.

  • 2012 - 85%[34]
  • 2011 - 97%[35] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Milton Area School District's rate was 89% for 2010.[36]
Former calculation rate

High school[edit]

Milton Area High School is located at 700 Mahoning Street, Milton. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 644 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 44% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14% of pupils received special education services, while 2.6% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 53 teachers.[42] Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013, the School reported an enrollment of 669 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 43% of pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school had a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.[43] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[44]

2014 School Performance Profile

Milton Area High School achieved 60.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 60% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 62% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 44% showed on grade level science understanding.[45] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[46] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged. [47][48]

2013 School Performance Profile

Milton Area High School achieved 60.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 68% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 37% showed on grade level science understanding.[49] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.

AYP History

In 2012, Milton Area High School remained in School Improvement Level II 2nd year, due to a low graduation rate. In 2011, Milton High School declined to School Improvement Level II due to continuing, low student achievement.[50] In 2010, the High School declined to School Improvement Level I due to chronic low student achievement. The school administration was required to develop and implement a school improvement plan to raise student achievement. The plan must be made available to the public and must be submitted to the states' department of education for approval. In 2009, the school was in Warning Status.[51]

PSSA results history[edit]

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[52] In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[53]

11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 61% on grade level (19% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders on grade level.[54]
  • 2011 - 59.9% (21% below basic). State - 69.1%. Ranks 17th of 18 high schools, in CSIU16 region, for Reading skills.
  • 2010 - 73% (13% below basic). State - 66% [55] Ranked 9th of 18 high schools, in CSIU16 region, for Reading skills.[56]
  • 2009 - 65% (21% below basic). State - 65%. Ranked 10th of 18 high schools in CSIU16 region for Reading skills.[57]
  • 2008 - 69%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 53% (31% below basic). State - 65%
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 61% on grade level (22% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[58]
  • 2011 - 57.2% (26% below basic). State - 60%. Ranks 13th out of 18 high schools in local CSIU16 region.
  • 2010 - 64% (20% below basic). State - 59%. Ranks 10th out of 18 high schools in CSIU16 region.[59]
  • 2009 - 51% (29% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2008 - 58%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 49% (30% below basic). State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 39% on grade level. (15% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 36.3% (18% below basic). State - 40.8%
  • 2010 - 36%, State - 39% [60]
  • 2009 - 51%, State - 40% [61]
  • 2008 - 37%, State - 39%

Science in Motion Milton Area High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[62] Union Memorial Elementary School worked with Westminster College to provide the experiences. The program is provided locally by faculty at Susquehanna University.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 28% of the Milton Area 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.[63] This was the highest remediation rate among the IU16 region's high schools.[64] 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. 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.[65]

Graduation requirements[edit]

Starting with the Class of 2011 students must earn 28 credits to graduate. The class of 2011 must earn: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Health 0.5 credit, Computer 0.5 credit, Career Exploration 0.5 credit, Physical Education 2 credits, Arts and Humanities 2 credits, Interdisciplinary Studies 2 credits and Electives 5.5 credits.[66] Prior to 2010, graduation required a total number of 25.5 credits earned within a four-year sequence consisting of ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades.

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.[67] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[68]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, all public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[69][70][71] For the class of 2019, a composition exam will be added. For the class of 2020, passing a civics and government exam will be added to the graduation requirements.[72] In 2011, Pennsylvania high school students field tested the Algebra 1, Biology and English Lit exams. The statewide results were: Algebra 1 38% on grade level, Biology 35% on grade level and English Lit - 49% on grade level.[73] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

Dual enrollment The high school does not offer the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. The program is offered through over 400 school districts with the assistance of a state grant.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Milton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 477. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 441.[74] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[75]

In 2013, Milton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 485. The Math average score was 496. The Writing average score was 456. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nation-wide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[76]

In 2012, 85 Milton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 469. The Math average score was 495. The Writing average score was 449. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 102 Milton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 496. The Math average score was 492. The Writing average score was 444.[77] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[78] 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.[79]

Middle school[edit]

Milton Middle School is located at 700 Mahoning Street, Milton. In 2014, enrollment was 496 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 53.6% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14.8% of pupils received special education services, while 2.2% of pupils were identified as gifted.[80]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 498 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 50% pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school employed 37 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 13:1.[81] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[82]

2014 School Performance Profile

Milton Area Middle School achieved 82.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 74% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 83% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 64% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 78% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills. [83]

2013 School Performance Profile

Milton Area Middle School achieved 89.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 73% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, 82% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 69.6% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 80% of the 8th grade students were on grade level.[84]

AYP History

In 2012, Milton Area Middle School progressed to Making Progress: in School Improvement II AYP status. In 2011, the school declined to "School Improvement II" status due to chronic, low student achievement in reading on grade level.[85] In 2010, Milton Area Middle School was in Making Progress in School Improvement Level I due to chronic low student achievement.[51] In 2009, MAMS, declined to School Improvement Level I.

PSSA Results:

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are NCLB related examination given in the Spring of each school year. Sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[86] Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[87] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[88] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[89]

8th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 79%, (9% below basic). State - 79% on grade level.[90] Ranked 10th out of 19 eighth grades in the CSIU 16 region for reading.
  • 2011 - 84.2%, (11% below basic). State - 81.8%[91]
  • 2010 - 78%, State - 81%. Ranked 15th in the CSIU16 region.[92][93]
  • 2009 - 74%, State - 80%
  • 2008 - 85%, State - 78%
  • 2007 - 82%, State - 67% [94]
  • 2006 - 72%, State - 70%
  • 2005 - 65%, State - 64%
8th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 80%, (13% below basic). State - 76% on grade level. Ranked 11th out of 19 eighth grades in the CSIU 16 region.
  • 2011 - 84%, (11% below basic). State - 76.2%. Ranked 9th in the CSIU 16 region.
  • 2010 - 78%, State - 75%
  • 2009 - 66%, State - 71%. Ranked 15th out of 19 eighth grades in the CSIU 16 region.[95]
  • 2008 - 71%, State - 70% [96]
  • 2007 - 71%, State - 74%
  • 2006 - 60%, State - 62% [97]
  • 2005 - 66%, State - 62% [98]
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 68%, (16% below basic). State - 59% on grade level. Ranked 11th in the CSIU 16 region.
  • 2011 - 65.7%, (18% below basic). State - 58.3%. Ranked 13th in the CSIU16 region.
  • 2010 - 66%, State - 57%. Ranked 9th among 19 in the CSIU16 region.[99]
  • 2009 - 52%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 57%, State - 52%

James Baugher Elementary School[edit]

James Baugher Elementary School is located at 60 Brenda Rovenolt Circle, Milton. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 585 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 64.7% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 14.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[105] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[106] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 623 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 56% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 43 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 14:1.[107] The School employed 43 teachers. 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.[108] The school was formerly known as Milton Elementary School. In 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 582 pupils.[109]

2014 School Performance Profile

James F. Baugher Elementary School achieved a score of 76.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 62% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 60.78% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 72% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 83% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 50% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[110]

2013 School Performance Profile

James F. Baugher Elementary School achieved 77 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement.In 2012-13, only 65% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 72% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 76.8% of the pupils in 3rd-5th grades showed grade level skills. In 4th grade science, just 78.9% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 58% of pupils were on grade level in 2013.[111] The school provides full day kindergarten since 2003.

AYP History

James Baugher Elementary School achieved AYP status in 2009 through 2012.[112][113] In 2011 the attendance rate was 94% while in 2010 the rate was 95%.[114] Report Card 2006 [1] | Report Card 2005 [2]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 77% (6% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 78% (2% below basic). State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 89%, State - 81%
  • 2009 - 81%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 78.6%, State - 81%

The Milton Elementary School's low family income 3rd graders made AYP (59 low income pupils – out of 83) in 2010[120] Milton Area Elementary School was recognized by Standard and Poors for reducing the achievement gap as reflected on their students' math scores in 2006.[121]

3rd Graders Reading among low income pupils

2010: 64.5% on grade level, Advanced - 15.3% | Proficient – 49.2%, State – 61.2% on grade level

3rd Graders Math low income pupils

2010: 72.9% on grade level, A - 30.5% | P – 42.4%, State - 74.7% on grade level

White Deer Elementary School[edit]

White Deer Elementary School is located at 631 New Columbia Road, New Columbia. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 268 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 55.6% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 16.79% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[122] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[123] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 280 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 37.8% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 22 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.[124] The School employed 22 teachers. 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 in 2013.[125] The school provides full day kindergarten since 2003.

2014 School Performance Profile

White Deer Elementary School achieved a score of 73.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 63% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 55% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 74% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 89.5% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 48.7% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[126]

2013 School Performance Profile

White Deer Elementary School achieved 75 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 71.5% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 71% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 85% were on grade level. In 4th grade science, 90% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 62% of pupils were on grade level.[127]

AYP History

White Deer Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status each year 2009 through 2012.[128] The school ranked 12th in CSIU16 region elementary schools for on grade level reading in 2010.[119]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 96% (0% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 93.8% (4% below basic). State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 81.3%, State - 81%
  • 2009 - 81.3%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 92.3%, State - 81%
3rd Graders Reading low income pupils
  • 2012: 82% on grade level, Advanced- 6% | Proficient – 76%, State – 59%
  • 2011: 86% on grade level, Advanced- 23% | Proficient – 64%, State – 64%
  • 2010: 61.5% on grade level, Advanced- 7.7% | Proficient – 53.8%, State – 61.2%
3rd Graders Math low income pupils
  • 2012: 94% on grade level, A - 56% | Pt – 39%, State - 66%
  • 2011: 86% on grade level, A - 50% | Pt – 36%, State - 73%
  • 2010: 69.3% on grade level, A - 30.8% | Pt – 38.5%, State - 74.7%

Montandon Elementary School[edit]

Montandon Elementary School is located at 2733 State Route 45, Montandon. In 2014, Montandon Elementary School's enrollment was 163 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 57.5% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[134] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten. [135] The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school provides full day kindergarten since 2003. In 2013, Montandon Elementary applied for and receive Blue Ribbon School designation for the second time.[136]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 154 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 57% of its pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 14 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 11:1.[137] 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.[138] Montandon Elementary School earned Blue Ribbon School award for outstanding performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment for 2005. The students scored 97.7% proficient or better in mathematics and 72.4% proficient in reading.[139]

2013 School Performance Profile

Montandon Elementary School achieved a score of 89.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 88.73% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 100% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 92.96% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 92% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 78% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[140]

2014 School Performance Profile

Montandon Elementary School achieved a score of 79.2 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 78% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 76.9% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 87.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 95% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 56% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[141]

AYP History

Montandon Elementary School achieved AYP status in 2009 through 2012.[142] The attendance rate was 95% for 2009, 2010, and 2011. The school's students ranked 22nd, among 28 CSIU16 region elementary schools, for reading on grade level in 2011.[143] The 5th grade ranked 27th for reading on grade level in 2010.[144]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 86% (7% below basic) 46% advanced. State – 82%
  • 2011 - 92.6% (0% below basic) 57% advanced, State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 96.0%, State - 81%
  • 2009 - 67.8%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 97.8%, State - 81%
3rd Graders Reading low income pupils

2013: 100% on grade level[149] 2012: 83% on grade level, Advanced - 33% | Proficient – 50%, State – 59% 2011: 73% on grade level, Advanced - 27% | Proficient – 47%, State – 64% 2010: 93.3% on grade level, Advanced - 40% | Proficient – 53.3%, State – 61.2%

3rd Graders Math low income pupils

2012: 94% on grade level, Advanced - 89% | Proficient – 6%, State – 66% 2010: 100% on grade level, Advanced - 53% | Proficient – 47%, State – 73% 2010: 100% on grade level, A- 40% | P – 60%, State - 74.7%

Enrollment[edit]

In 2013, MIlton Area School District's enrollment was 2,227 pupils. Fifty percent of the district's students were from economically disadvataged homes. Enrollment in the Milton Area School District 2009 was 2,277 students. In 2008, 44% of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Milton Area School District had 1,032 students receiving free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[150] In 2005, Standard & Poors reported the district's student–teacher ratio was 13.9 to 1.[151]

Special education[edit]

In December 2012, Milton Area School District reported that 358 pupils or 16% of its pupils received special educations services, with 44% of identified students having a specific learning disability.[152] In December 2009, the District Administration reported that 297 pupils or 12.8% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[153]

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 Coordinator.[154]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for 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.[155] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. 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.[156] Over identification 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.[157] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[158] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[159]

The Milton Area School District received a $1,375,322 supplement for special education services in 2010-2011.[160] For the 2011-2012, 2012–2013, 2013–2014 and 2014-2015 school years, 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.[161][162] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply each year for this added funding. Fro the 2014-15 school year, MASD will receive $1,399,659 for special education from the Commonwealth.

Budget[edit]

Pennsylvania public school districts budget and expend funds according to procedures mandated by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). An annual operating budget is prepared by school district administrative officials. A uniform form is furnished by the PDE and submitted to the board of school directors for approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1.

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[163]

In 2014, the starting teacher salary in Milton Area School District is $43,911.00 for 186 days.[164] In 2013, the average teacher salary in Milton Area School District was $56,502, with the teacher's benefit package costing $20,841 per teacher, for a total compensation of $77,343.[165]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Milton Area School District was $54,715 a year. The cost of the teacher's benefits was $17,001 per teachers yelding a total compensation of $71,716.[166]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Milton Area School District was $54,073 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $14,957 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $69,031.[167] In May 2011, the board and teachers union agreed to a one year salary freeze, as well as, reduced tuition reimbursement plus a 20 percent reduction in salary for all extracurricular and athletic coaches salaries for 2011-12 school year that is projected to save the district $545,000. Additionally, the board eliminated the curriculum director position saving $109,000. Administration salaries were also frozen for one year. Other teacher positions were eliminated when the teachers retire at the end of this school year.[168]

The Milton Area School Board set the budget at $24.8 million for 2007-08. The board levies a variety of taxes to support its programs. Taxes include 48.39 mills real estate tax in 2007 for district properties located in Northumberland County. For properties located in White Deer Township, Union County the real estate property tax was set at 10.10 mills.[169] The School Board and teachers' union engaged in a Fact Finding process as a part of developing a new contract in 2006.[170] A contract agreement was reached that covered three years 2006 to 2009.[171]

In 2007, Milton Area School District employed 173 teachers. The average teacher salary in the District was $47,380 for 180 days worked.[172] 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.[173] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, sick days, and other benefits.[174]

Per pupil spending The Milton Area School District Administrative costs per pupil in were $549.64 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[175] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association, the average salary for a superintendent for the 2007-08 school year was $122,165.[176] In 2010, Cathy Groller was hired as Superintendent at a starting salary of $115,000.[177] In April 2013, the Board provided a new 4 contract to Grolier which includes 3% annual raises. Her salary was reported by the Board as $123,503.[178] Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union, including: health insurance, life insurance, paid sick days, paid holidays, taxpayer funded dues payments and more. In August 2014, the Board hired former Superintendent of Midd-West School District Daphne as the Director of Elementary Education. Snook is suing her former employer in Federal court for a variety of issues related to her suspension for reading board members emails.[179]

In 2008, the administration reported that the District's per pupil spending was $10,612. This ranked 429th among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.[180] By 2010, the per pupil spending in Milton Area had increased to $12,225 which ranked 388th in the Commonwealth.[181] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[182] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[183] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year year 2000-01.[184]

Reserves In 2008, the Milton Area School District reported a balance of zero, in its unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $2,185,184. [185] In 2010, Milton Area School District Administration reported $2,185,184.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District also reported $602,329 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. In 2013, the District's reserves were $3,998,907. By 2014, t he Districts reserves had risen to $5,612,378.[186] Pennsylvania public 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.[187] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[188] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[189]

Audits In January 2013, Milton Area School District was audited by the Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office. Findings were reported to the school board and administration and posted online at the Auditor General's school audit website.[190] In September 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school board and the administration.[191]

Tuition Students who live in the Milton Area School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Milton Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,033.05, High School - $9,058.70.[192]

KOZ tax free zone In 2013, a local business group - Milton Area industrial Development Association, applied to the school board for a KOZ designation which would have exempted its 15.8 acre property from paying school property taxes for 10 years.[193] The Board rejected the application for a second 10 year KOZ tax exemption.[194]

Milton Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.3%, a property taxes, a real estate transfer tax - 0.5%, per capita taxes of $5 (Section 679) and $10 (Act 511).[195] substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the District. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from both state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless the of individual's level of wealth.[196] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher's pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year plus they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[197]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Milton Area School District receives 51.4% of its annual revenue from the state.[198]

For the 2014-15 school year, Milton Area School District will receive $8,815,475 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $153,100 in Accountability Block Grant funding and $155,640 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[199] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[200]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Milton Area School District received a 1.8% increase or $8,817,021 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding (BEF). This is $157,770 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Milton Area School District received $153,100 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Northumberland County, Shikellamy School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 1.9%. Milton Area School District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[201] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[202]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Milton Area School District received $8,812,271.[203] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. Milton Area School District also $153,100 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[204] This amount was a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

For the 2011-12 school year, the Milton Area School District received $8,658,275 in state Basic Education Funding.[205] Additionally, the district will receive $153,100 in Accountability Block Grant funding.[206] 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. 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.[207] Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.

For the 2010-11 school year, the state provided a 6.46% increase, in state basic education funding, for a total of $9,546,171. This was the highest increase awarded to a district in Northumberland County. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase while Kennett Consolidated School District of Chester County received the highest a 23.65% increase in state funding for 2010-11.[208] The amount of increase each school district receives was determined by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the Local Education Agency (LEA) specific allocations made in the Governor's budget proposal released in February each year.[209] This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others. In 2010, the district reported that 1,145 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 6.18% increase in Basic Education Funding, to the district for a total of $8,966,999.[210] The district also received supplemental funding for: Title I (federal funding for low-income students), for district size, a poverty supplement from the Commonwealth and more. Mount Carmel Area School District received 6.23% which was the highest increase in Northumberland County in 2009. In Pennsylvania, ninety school districts were allotted the base increase of 2%. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received an increase of 22.31%. Fifteen Pennsylvania public school districts received Basic Education increases in excess of 10%.[211]

The state Basic Education funding to the District in 2008-09 was $8,445,126.50. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1,032 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[212] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[213][214]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through several other funding allocations, including Reimbursement of Charter School Expenditures; Special Education Funding; Secondary Career & Technical Education Subsidy; PA Accountability Grants - $47,495 to Camp Hill in 2010; and Educational Assistance Program Funding. Plus all Pennsylvania school districts receive federal dollars for various programs including Special Education and Title I funding for children from low income families. In 2010, Pennsylvania spent over $24 billion for public education - local, state and federal dollars combined.

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; or before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010-11, Milton Area School District applied for and received $415,552 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 7th year.[215][216]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the numer of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[217]

Milton Area School District will receive $155,640 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, Accountability Block Grant funding, PreK Counts funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's Education Assistance Program 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, the Milton Area School District received $54,593.[218]

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), along with other specialized equipment and provided funding for teacher training to optimize the use of the computers. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Milton Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07 or in 2007-08. The District received $137,788 in extra state funding in 2008-09.[219] Among the public school districts in Northumberland County the largest award went to Shikellamy School District - $373,690. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Literacy Grant[edit]

Milton Area School District was awarded a $441,867 competitive literacy grant. It is to be used to improve reading skills birth through 12th grade. The district was required to develop a lengthly literacy plan, which included outreach into the community. The funds come from a Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, also referred to as the Keystones to Opportunity grant It is a five-year, competitive federal grant program designed to assist local education agencies in developing and implementing local comprehensive literacy plans. Of the 329 pre-applications by school districts reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, School District was one of only 148 entities that were invited to submit a full application. In County 5 school districts and one charter school were awarded funding for one year.[220] The funds must be used for teacher training, student screening and assessment, targeted interventions for students reading below grade level and research-based methods of improving classroom instruction and practice. Districts must hire literacy coaches. The coaches work with classroom teachers to enhance their literacy teaching skills. Pennsylvania was among six other states, out of the 35 that applied, to be awarded funding. Pennsylvania received $38 million through the federal program. The Department of Education reserved 5% of the grant for administration costs at the state level. The top Pennsylvania grant recipient was Pittsburgh School District which was awarded $1,9983,014.

Other grants[edit]

Milton Area School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants; PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[221] 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[222] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Milton Area School District received $1,730,608 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[223] This was in addition to all regular, annual state and federal funding. Because this funding was temporary, the District officials were repeatedly urged to use the funds for nonrecurring expenses like equipment and book purchases, staff training, and building repairs.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Milton Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over one million dollars of additional federal funding for improving student academic achievement.[224] 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.[225] 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.[226]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

Milton Area School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. 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.[227] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

For 2014-15 school year, the Milton Area School Board raised the local property tax to 56.3000 mills for residents in Northumberland County. District residents in Union County are taxed at 11.9300 mills.[228] 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 all government property (local, state and federal). 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, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[229] 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.

The disparity of District resident's taxation on property taxes is compounded by the district crossing a county line. Property tax rates vary within the school district, depending on where the property is located. School districts located in more than one county are required to apportion the tax levy based on the market value in each county as determined by the State Tax Equalization Board pursuant to section 672.1 of the School Code. As a result, the tax rate increases are not the same for each county in a multi-county school district.[230]

  • 2013-14 - 55.1210 mills Northumberland County, Union County - 11.93 mills.[231]
  • 2012-13 - 54.990 mills Northumberland County, Union County - 11.52 mills.[232]
  • 2011-12 - 53.7100 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 11.14 mills[233]
  • 2010-11 - 51.0100 mills in Northumberland County. Union County - 11.98 mills.[234]
  • 2009-10 - 53.9300 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 10.4800 mills.[235]
  • 2008-09 - 51.3200 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 10.3000 mills.[236]
  • 2007-08 - 48.3900 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 10.1000 mills.[237]
  • 2006-07 - 46.2200 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 9.8300 mills.[238]
  • 2005-06 - 44.1000 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 56.0000 mills.[239]

In 2010, the State Tax Equalization Board produced a seriously flawed report that properties in several districts had soared in value. In the Milton Area School District, the agency claimed that property values in White Deer Township rose $53 million, from $166 million to $219 million between 2007 to 2008. District residents' property taxes were to increase $400 in one year. After a contentious debate, the agency acknowledged the error and corrected the report.[240] An audit of the agency, called for by local legislators, revealed that the STEB's documentation of municipalities showed 65 percent of the sample contained one or more deficiencies.[241]

The average yearly property tax paid by Northumberland County residents amounts to about 2.32% of their yearly income. Lancaster County ranked 1,219th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[242] 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 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[243] 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%).[244]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2013, the homesteads and farmsteads in Milton Area School District were again allotted $144 in state property tax relief. In the district, 4,279 property owners applied for the tax relief and received approval.[245] 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The highest relief in Northumberland County in 2011 went to Shikellamy School District at $166 for 5,391 properties. Among the 500 school districts in the Commonwealth, the highest relief went to Chester-Upland School District at $631.

  • 2012 - $143
  • 2011 - $144
  • 2010 - $148
  • 2009 - $163 – 3776 properties.

According to a Pennsylvania Auditor General report, only 55.32% of Northumberland County residents applied for property tax relief from gaming in 2009.[246] In Northumberland County, the highest amount of relief in 2009 went to Mount Carmel Area School District. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania for 2009-2011 went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[247]

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.

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 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.[248]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Milton Area School District 2006-2007 through 2012-2013.[249]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Milton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[250]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Milton Area School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index for the high cost of teachers' pensions. For 2013-2014, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[251]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Milton Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: special education costs and teacher pension costs. 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.[251]

For the school budget years 2010-11 and 2011–12, the Milton Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index.[252][253] Each year, the school district 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.[254]

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.[255] With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly repealed most of the Act 1 tax increase exceptions leaving only special education costs, pension costs and prior voter approved (ballot referendum) debt for construction. The cost of construction projects in the future will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum. Districts can no longer raise property taxes to cover increasing health insurance costs for employees.[256]

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.[257]

Wellness policy[edit]

Milton Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[258] 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, physical activity hat 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.[259] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for its approval.

Milton Area School District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to low-income children. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[260] ll students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[261] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[260]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[262] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of the lunch.[263] In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[264] The Food and Drug Administration requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[265]

Milton Area School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[266] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2009, Milton Area School District received funding through two Highmark Healthy High 5 grants. Montandon Elementary School received $2,250 which was used to provide an after school fitness program for 4th and 5th graders. James F. Baugher Elementary School received $5,150 for its 4th and 5th grade after school program.[267] Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5 year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools.

The Milton Area School District participated in Highmark Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued in 2013.[268]

Bullying Policy and school safety[edit]

In 2013, Milton Area School District Administration reported that there were 17 bully incidents and 14 simple assaults on students. Additionally, there were 12 thefts and nine sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in zero incidents at the schools and there was one arrest.[269][270]

In 2012, the District's administration reported there were 28 assaults on students. There were 44 incidents of bullying. One student had a firearm at school and 2 had knives. There were 3 arson incidents in 2012.[271]

The Milton Area School Board prohibits bullying by district students. A policy approved in October 2008 defines bullying and cyberbullying.[272] The Board directs that complaints of bullying be investigated promptly, and corrective action taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying.[273] The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. 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.[274] 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.[275]

In May 2014, Milton Area School District Administration reported its four year old anti bullying program is having an impact. The District employs a version of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in its elementary schools and MIlton Area Middle School.[276][277]

The Milton Area School District administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the District in 2009.[278] In 2010, there were 15 incidents of bullying reported as well as 23 assaults on students.[279]

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.[280]

Safe School grants[edit]

In 2013, Milton Area School District did not participate in the state Safe Schools Targeted Grant. The maximum of $25,000 grants were awarded through a competitive application process.[281] The funds was required to be used for research based interventions, like: peer mediation, staff training in managing behavioral issues and creating a positive school climate. The District also did not apply for the state's School Resource Officer and Police Officer grant.[282]

Teacher Evaluation process[edit]

Historically by law, Pennsylvania’s public school teachers are evaluated achieving one of two ratings, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The evaluation provided no meaningful feedback in areas where an educator could improve.

In June 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly established the new educator evaluation method, which was implemented in the 2013-14 school year. The new public school teacher evaluation includes multiple measures of student achievement, such as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System, graduation and promotion rates, as well as other elective data to be determined at the local level.

The Milton Area School District volunteered to participate in a pilot project with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop statewide policy, tools and processes to evaluate teachers and principals in which student achievement is a significant factor affecting performance ratings. Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis announced that 104 K-12 entities, including nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units, signed-up to participate in the new teacher and principal evaluation pilot program.[283] The initiative was funded by a Gates Momentum grant.[284] During the 2011-12 school year, more than 120 school districts, charter schools, intermediate units, and career and technology centers participated in the second implementation phase of the new teacher evaluation tool. This included more than 650 supervisors and nearly 5,000 teachers in 366 school buildings participating in the pilot project.

The final phase of the updated Pennsylvania public education professionals evaluation system was implemented during the 2012-13 school year, with 264 local education agencies, consisting of 1,387 school buildings, 1,892 principals/supervisors and more than 31,600 teachers included. In advocating for the new evaluation system, Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis reported that research demonstrated that the performance of an educator has a direct impact on the future success of students.[285] The new evaluation system will become effective for principals in the 2014-15 school year. In the United States of America, 22 other states use student achievement to evaluate educators.

Extracurriculars[edit]

Milton Area School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, sports program. The District reports spending $623, 248 in its annual budget report on activities in 2013-14.[12] In 2014-2015 the spending rose to $648,093. This does not include facility or transportation costs.[286] The Milton Area School Board determines eligibility policies to participate in these programs.[287][288][289]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[290]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the District, including those who attend a private school, public cyber charter school, public charter school and those who are homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics programs. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the District's schools.[291]

Athletics[edit]

Milton High School participates in various sports through the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and is a member of the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference since 2008-2009 school year.[292] The Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference is a voluntary association of 25 PIAA High Schools within the central Pennsylvania region. The District is compliant with state law, posting its Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form on its website.[293] Milton Area School District charges students a one time per year $50 activity participation fee.[294] To be academically eligible a student cannot be failing two (2) or more classes. Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[295] Varsity coaches are paid between $4,000 and $6,000 per season.[296]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports:

Milton School in Cambodia[edit]

Spearheaded by Michael Conn (a history teacher at Milton High School), the members of Team Cambodia, a group dedicated to raising money to build a school in the Kampong Cham province of Cambodia, and the majority of the student body raised over $30,000. The school is completed and is now in service. Students and faculty members of the Milton School District recently completed a trip to Cambodia to check in and report back to the community on the success of the endeavor.

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  273. ^ Milton Area School Board, Milton School Board Bullying Policy
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  292. ^ Stafford, Todd (May 19, 2007). "New athletic League becomes a reality". The Daily Item,. 
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