Carmichaels Area School District

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Carmichaels Area School District
Map of Greene County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
300 West Greene Street
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, Greene County 15320-1287
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent

Mr John Menhart contract July 2014 - June 30, 2019, salary $106,000

Mr. James Craig Baily salary $105,658 (2012)
Administrator

Mrs Amy Todd - Business Manager, salary $88,048 (2012)
Batis, Mark, salary $77,916

Bates, David, Supervisor $68,535
Principal Lisa Zdravecky (2013) $75,000 [1]
Principal Cole, Robyn, salary $83,587
Staff 49
Faculty 79 teachers (2011)
Grades preK-12
Age 3 years old preschool to 21 years old special education
Pupils 1,126 pupils (2013),[2] 1,126 students (2012)[3]
1,179 (2009-10) [4]
 • Kindergarten 86 (2012), 93 (2010)
 • Grade 1 84 (2012), 84
 • Grade 2 95 (2012), 115
 • Grade 3 83 (2012), 76
 • Grade 4 93 (2012), 83
 • Grade 5 100 (2012), 82
 • Grade 6 75 (2012), 105
 • Grade 7 84 (2012), 81
 • Grade 8 88 (2012), 79
 • Grade 9 104 (2012), 99
 • Grade 10 76 (2012), 89
 • Grade 11 77 (2012), 108
 • Grade 12 81 (2012), 85 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected by the PDE to be 1,359 in 2019[5]
Language English
Mascot The Mighty Mikes
USNWR ranking 415th out of 500 (2014)
Budget

$15,560,370 (2014-2015)
$15,292,818 (2013-14)[6]
$14,323,152 (2012-13) [7]

$14,297,000 (2011-12)[8]
Per pupil spending $11,391 (2008)
Per pupil spending $12,432.39 (2010)
Website

The Carmichaels Area School District serves the Borough of Carmichaels and Cumberland Township in Greene County, Pennsylvania. The District encompasses approximately 39 square miles (100 km2). The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania and one of five public school district in Greene County. According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 7,120. By 2010, the District's population declined to 7,098 people.[9] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $15,269, while the median family income was $36,276.[10] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[11] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[12] The educational attainment levels for the population 25 and over were 86.0% high school graduates and 18.6% college graduates.[13]

According to District officials, in school year 2005-06, Carmichaels Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,103 pupils. It employed: 81 teachers, 40 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 7 administrators. The District provides a taxpayer-funded preschool program that is open to children who will be 3 or 4 years old, before September 1. The program began in 2008.[14][15] Carmichaels Area School District received more than $8.8 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. In school year 2009-2010, the Carmichaels Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,066 pupils. It employed: 83 teachers, 41 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 6 administrators. Lastly, the Carmichaels Area School District received more than $8.9 million in state funding in school year 2009-2010.

Carmichaels Area School District operates one elementary school (Carmichaels Area Elementary Center), and one Junior/Senior High School, Carmichaels Area Junior/Senior High School. High school students may choose to attend Greene County Career and Technical Center for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Intermediate Unit IU1 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]

Carmichaels Area School District is governed by nine individually elected board members (who serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[16] 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.[17]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" 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.[18]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2014, Carmicheals Area School District ranked 415th out of 496 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[19] 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.[20] 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 - 383rd [21]
  • 2012 - 394th [22]
  • 2011 - 393rd [23]
  • 2010 - 420th [24]
  • 2009 - 419th
  • 2008 - 448th
  • 2007 - 465th out of 501 school districts.[25]

In 2010, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Carmichaels Area ranked 301st. In 2009 the district was 310th. The paper describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[26]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Carmichaels Area School District was in the 21st percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best) [27]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Carmichaels Area School District declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging reading and mathematics achievement.[28] In 2011, Carmichaels 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 Pennsylvania public 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.[29] Carmichaels Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010; while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[30]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2013, the graduation rate at Carmichaels Area School District was 87%.[31] In 2012, the graduation rate at the District was 89%.[32] In 2011, the District's graduation rate was 83%.[33] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Carmichaels Area High School's rate was 85% for 2010.[34]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 - 87% [35]
  • 2009 - 92%
  • 2008 - 92%
  • 2007 - 92% out of 500 districts.[36]

Junior-Senior High School[edit]

Carmichaels Area Junior-Senior High School is located at 300 West Greene Street, Carmichaels. In 2013, enrollment was reported as 435 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 41.8% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 17% of pupils received special education services, while less than 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 38 teachers.[37] 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 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 510 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 241 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school employed 39 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[38] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[39]

2013 School Performance Profile

Carmichaels Area Junior Senior High School achieved 67.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 61% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 61.4% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 50% showed on grade level science understanding.[40] 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. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[41]

AYP History

In 2012, Carmichaels Area Junior-Senior High School declined further to Corrective Action II 2nd Year due to chronic, low reading and mathematics achievement. The School achieved just 2 of 12 metrics measured.

  • 2011 - declined to Corrective Action II 1st Year due to chronic, low reading achievement.[42]
  • 2010 - Making Progress: in Corrective Action I due to the chronic low academic performance of its students.[43]
  • 2009 - declined to Corrective Action I level.[44] The School's Administration was required to develop a plan of action to improve student achievement and to submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[45] In the eleventh grade there are 62 pupils enrolled in 2011. In 2010 there were 79 pupils.
  • 2008 - declined to School Improvement Level 2[46]
  • 2007 - Making Progress in School Improvement 1[47]
  • 2006 - declined to School Improvement Level 1[48]
  • 2005 - declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement[49]
  • 2004 - achieved AYP status[50]
  • 2003 - Warning AYP Status
PSSA Results

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.[51]

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.[52]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 61% on grade level, (23% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[53]
  • 2011 - 69% (11% below basic). State - 69.1%[54]
  • 2010 - 68%, (19% below basic). State - 67%[55]
  • 2009 - 57%, State - 65% [56]
  • 2008 - 63%, State - 65%[57]
  • 2007 - 57%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 62% on grade level (26% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[58]
  • 2011 - 52%, (14% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 58% (24% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 45%, State - 56% [59]
  • 2008 - 43%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 45%, State - 53% [60]
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 38% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[61]
  • 2011 - 36% (9% below basic). State - 40%[62]
  • 2010 - 36% (11% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 32%, State - 40% [63]
  • 2008 - 26%, State - 39% [64]

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 41% of the Carmichaels Area Junior Senior 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.[65] 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.[66] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment 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.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Carmichaels Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 25 credits to graduate, including: a required class every year in math, English, social studies, science, Physical Education and eight electives.[67]

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.[68]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, 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.

Challenge Program[edit]

The Challenge Program, Inc. offers $250.00 cash incentives to Carmichaels Area Junior Senior High School students who excel in the categories of: Academic Improvement, Attendance, Community Service and Academic Excellence. The program partners with businesses to motivate students both in and out of the classroom by encouraging good habits in students that will last throughout their education and into their future careers. For the 2010-2011 school year, the top 10% of students in each of the categories will be eligible to win $250.00.[74]

Eighth Grade[edit]

There are 71 pupils enrolled in 2011. In 2010, there were 69 pupils.

Reading:
  • 2012 - 76% on grade level (7% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[58]
  • 2011 - 78% on grade level (15% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81.8% of 8th graders on grade level.[75]
  • 2010 - 82%, (14% below basic). State - 81% [76]
  • 2009 - 68%, State - 80%[77]
  • 2008 - 79%, State - 78%
Math:
  • 2012 - 67% on grade level (15% below basic). State - 76%
  • 2011 - 68%, (20% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 75%, (13% below basic). State -75%
  • 2009 - 76%, State - 71%[78]
  • 2008 - 76%, State - 70%
Science:
  • 2012 - 52% on grade level (24% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 47% (24% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 49% (30% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 74%, State - 55%.[79]
  • 2008 - 65%, State - 52% [80]

Seventh Grade[edit]

There are 93 pupils enrolled in 2011. In 2010 there were 71 pupils.

Reading:
  • 2012 - 70% on grade level (8% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2011 - 69%, (10% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2010 - 68%, (11% below basic). State - 73%
  • 2009 - 63%, State - 71% [77]
  • 2008 - 56%, State - 70%
Math:
  • 2012 - 76% (8% below basic). State - 80%
  • 2011 - 70% (18% below basic). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 - 74% (14% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2009 - 70%, State - 75% [78]
  • 2008 - 70%, State - 70%

Carmichaels Area Elementary Center[edit]

Carmichaels Area Elementary Center is located at 225 North Vine Street, Carmichaels. In 2013, the School's enrollment was 691 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 49.6% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 17% of the pupils receive special education services, while no students were identified as gifted.[81] 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.[82] The School is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 616 pupils in grades preschool through 6th, with 329 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 40 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[83] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[84]

2013 School Performance Profile

Carmichaels Area Elementary Center achieved a score of 68.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 60% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 57.9% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 73% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 67% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 54% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[85]

AYP History

In 2012, Carmichaels Area Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.[86] In 2010 and 2011, the school achieved AYP status.[87] The attendance rate was 92% in both 2010 and 2011.[88]

PSSA results

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[89] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[90][91][92] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[93]

4th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 91%, (3% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 90%, (0% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 80% (7% below basic). State - 81%
  • 2009 - 82%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 82%, State - 81%

Bullying policy[edit]

In 2009 the administrative reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district.[97][98]

The Carmichaels Area School Board prohibits bullying by District students and faculty. The policy defines bullying and cyberbullying. The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying.[99] 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.[100] 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.[101]

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.[102]

Special education[edit]

In December 2011, Carmichaels Area School District administration reported that 199 pupils or 18.4% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 30.7% of the identified students having a learning disability. In December 2010, the District administration reported that 198 pupils or 17% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 33.8% of identified students having a specific learning disability.[103] In December 2009, the District administration reported that 205 pupils or 19% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 32.7% of identified students having a specific learning disability.

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.[104] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the district's Special Education Department.

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.[105] 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.[106] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students. [107] 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.[108] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[109]

Carmichaels Area School District received a $770,896 supplement for special education services in 2010.[110] 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. 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.[111]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 18 or 1.57% of its students were gifted in 2009.[112] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[113]

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.[114]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Carmichaels Area School District was $52,458.82 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $21,984 per employee (among the highest in Pennsylvania public school districts), for a total annual average teacher compensation of $74,443.[115] According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[116]

In December 2011, the school board and teachers union agreed to an early bird, three-year contract. Beginning in July 2012 the teachers agreed to a wage freeze for 2012-13, a $1500 raise for 2013-14 and a $1,600 raise for the 2014-15 school year.[117]

In 2009, the district reported employing 88 teachers with a salary range of $37,000 to $95,000.[118]

In 2007, the district employed 78 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $52,658 for 180 days worked. Carmichaels teachers were the highest paid in the county.[119] 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.[120] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, sick days, and other benefits.[121]

Carmichaels Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $723.08 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[122] 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.[123]

Reserves In 2008, Carmichaels Area School District reported a $2,523,851.00 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.[124] In 2012, Carmichaels Area Administration reported an increase to $3,594,225 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District reported $1 million in its unreserved-designated fund in 2012. 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. By law the state limits the total unreserved-undesignated fund balance at 8% of the annual budget for school districts that have budgets over $19 million a year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[125]

Per pupil spending The Carmichaels Area School District administration reported that per pupil spending in 2008 was $11,391 which ranked 353rd in the state' 501 school districts.[126]

Audit In January 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board.[127]

Tuition Students who live in the Carmichaels 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 Carmichaels 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 - $7,917.66, High School - $9,712.33.[128]

Carmichaels Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[129] Interest earnings on accounts and grants provide nontax income to the District. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[130] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher 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.[131]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Carmichaels Area School District receives 66.6% of its annual revenue from the state.[132]

For the 2014-15 school year, Carmichaels Area School District will receive $6,675,668 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $184,934 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.[133] 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.[134]

In the 2013-2014 school year, the Carmichaels Area School District received a 1.4% increase or $6,581,297 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $93,003 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Carmichaels Area School District received $94,425 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Greene County, Central Greene School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 1.6%. The 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.[135] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland School District, where 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is over 49 percent.[136] As a part of the education budget, the state provided the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[137]

For the 2012-13 school year, Carmichaels Area School District received $6,675,722.[138] 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. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. Carmichaels Area School District received $94,425 in ABG 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.[139]

In the 2011-2012 school year, Carmichaels Area School District received a $6,581,297 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[140] Additionally, the district will receive $94,425 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.[141] 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.[142] In 2010, the district reported that 501 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[143]

For the 2010-2011 budget year, the Carmichaels Area School District was allotted a 3.92% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,272,489. The highest increase in Greene County was given to Central Greene School District which got a 4.97% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[144] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[145]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided the District a 6.33% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $6,997,835. This was among the second highest increase, in Basic Education Funding, that school districts in Greene County received. Southeastern Greene School District got a 6.92%. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[146] The amount of increase each school district receives was set by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[147]

The state Basic Education Funding to Carmichaels Area School District in 2008-09 was $4,787,151.79. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 292 students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income in 2008.[148] 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.[149][150]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010-11 the district applied for and received $256,293 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the fifth year.[151][152]

  • 2009-10 - $256,293 for full-day kindergarten [153]
  • 2008-09 - $256,293 for full-day kindergarten

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. For the 2010-11 school year the state awarded $47.6 million in Education Assistance grants. 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 Carmichael Area School District received $23,680.[154]

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. Carmichaels Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. In 2007-08 the district received $50,000 and in 2008-09 $45,413 for a total of $95,413.[155] The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

The Environmental Education Grant Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates that 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by the Department of Environmental Protection be set aside for environmental education. In 2009, Carmichaels was awarded $3000 to conduct several field trips and in class studies that will allow for students to understand ecosystem composition and properties.[156] In 2010, Carmichaels was awarded $3,000 to coordinate field trips where students will assess biodiversity at various nature centers, including forest composition, soil properties, wildlife signs and water quality.[157] In 2012, the District was awarded $3,000.

Other grants[edit]

The District did not participate in: PA Science Its Elementary grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants[158] nor the federal 21st Century Learning after school program grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $1,331,892 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[159] The funding is for the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[160] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like: acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Carmichaels Area School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided hundreds of thousands in additional federal dollars to improve student academic achievement. 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.[161] 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.[162][163][164]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

Carmichaels Area School Board and administration 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.[165] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Enrollment and Consolidation[edit]

In 2010 a study on the possible consolidation of services between Carmichaels Area School District, Jefferson-Morgan School District and Southeastern Greene School District is being conducted.[166]

A study was done in 2004, examining consolidating Carmichaels Area School District with neighboring Southeastern Greene School District. It was estimated that over $2 million in savings would be achieved.[167] The study noted that consolidation could significantly decrease administrative costs for both communities while improving offerings to students. Consolidation of school district administrations does not require the consolidation of schools.[168]

Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[169] Statewide, there are 187 districts that are projected to have an enrollment decline of 15 percent or greater. Geographically, these districts are clustered in western Pennsylvania and in the state’s northern tier.[170]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[171]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2012-13 were set by the Carmichaels Area School Board at 22.7500 mills.[172] 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, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[173]

The average yearly property tax paid by Greene County residents amounts to about 2.77% of their yearly income. Greene County ranked 746th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[183] 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.[184] 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%).[185]

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.[186]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Carmichaels Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[187]

For the 2011-12 school year, Carmichaels Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each budget year Carmichaels 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.[190]

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.[191]

The Carmichaels Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2009-10 or 2010-11.[192] 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.[193] For 2009-10, the board did not apply for exceptions.[194]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Carmichaels Area School District was $231 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 1,864 property owners applied for the tax relief.[195] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Greene County, 37% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[196] In Greene County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to Central Greene School District at $296. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[197] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

  • 2009 - $240 for 1,794 properties.
  • 2008 - $273 for 1,576 properties.

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, individual with income much 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. [1]

Wellness policy[edit]

Carmichaels Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[198] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[199] The policy requires that the Superintendent or designee shall report to the Board on the district’s compliance with law and policies related to student wellness. The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The 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.[200] All 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.[201] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[200]

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.[202] 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 providing the lunch.[203] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93.

In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[204] 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.[205]

Carmichaels 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.[206][207] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[208]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Carmichaels Area School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive interscholastic sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy.[209][210]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the District, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[211][212][213]

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.[214][215]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[216]

High school sports[edit]

Carmichaels Area High School is a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL). Carmichaels is in PIAA District 7.

Sport Name Boys Girls
Football Class A N/A
Basketball Class A Class A
Baseball/Softball Class A Class A
Golf Class AA N/A
Volleyball N/A Class A
Junior High School

Boys:

  • Basketball
  • Football
Girls
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [217]

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