Lakeland School District, Pennsylvania

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District
Map of Lackawanna County Pennsylvania School Districts.PNG
Address
1355 Lakeland Drive
Scott Township, Pennsylvania Flag of Pennsylvania, Lackawanna County 18433-3140
United States United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent R. Scott Jeffery, M'ed (contract July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017)[1]
Administrator

Brian Cooney, Business Manager

Jeffrey Price, IMS Director
Principal James Pivirotto, JSHS
Principal Alan King, LES
Principal Kevin Sullivan, MES
Staff 49 non teaching staff members
Faculty 93 teachers (2013)[2]
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils

1,520 pupils (2014),[3]
1,545 pupils (2012-13)[4]
1,598 pupils (2009-10)[5][6]

1,644 pupils (2005)[7]
 • Kindergarten 123 (2013)[8] 134 (2010)[9]
 • Grade 1 107 (2013) 108 (2010)
 • Grade 2 115 (2013) 116 (2010)
 • Grade 3 119 (2013) 126 (2010)
 • Grade 4 104 (2013) 121 (2010)
 • Grade 5 120 (2013) 118 (2010)
 • Grade 6 135 (2013) 126 (2010)
 • Grade 7 122 (2013) 123 (2010)
 • Grade 8 115 (2013) 127 (2010)
 • Grade 9 124 (2013) 112 (2010)
 • Grade 10 100 (2013) 130 (2010)
 • Grade 11 125 (2013) 144 (2010)
 • Grade 12 111 (2013) 134 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to be 1,200 pupils in 2020[10]
Language English
Color(s) Red White and Blue
Budget $20.8 million (2015-16)[11]
per pupil spending $9,381 (2008)
per pupils spending $11,717.62 (2010)[12]
Website
Crest of the Lakeland School District

The Lakeland School District is a small, rural, public school district located in northern Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. It comprises the boroughs of Jermyn and Mayfield and the townships of Carbondale (to be distinguished from the city of Carbondale which it partially surrounds), Greenfield, and Scott. It was organized June 30, 1968 as a jointure among the three districts previously serving the five municipalities. Lakeland School District encompasses an area of 66.2 square miles (171 km2). Lakeland School District attendance area had a population of 11,966, according to the 2000 federal census. By 2010, the District's population increased to 12,097 people.[13] The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 91.8% high school graduates and 24.7% college graduates.[14] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 29.2% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level [1] as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[15] In 2009, Lakeland School District residents' per capita income was $18,876, while the median family income was $45,653 a year.[16] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[17] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[18] In Lackawanna County, the median household income was $43,673.[19] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[20] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[21]

According to school district administrative officials, for the 2005-06 school year, Lakeland School District provided basic educational services to 1,648 pupils. The district employed 11 administrators, 115 teachers, and 50 full-time and part-time support personnel. In 2011-12, the District's enrollment was 1,598 pupils. The District employed: 111 teachers, twelve (12) full-time and part-time support personnel, and six (6) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. Lakeland School District received $8.9 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year.

Lakeland School District operates three schools: Lakeland Elementary School - Scott Campus (K-6), Lakeland Elementary School - Mayfield Campus (K-6), and Lakeland Junior/Senior High School (7-12). Occupational training and adult education in various vocational and technical fields were provided by the District and the Career and Technology Center of Lackawanna County. Special education is provided by the district and the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit NEIU19. 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 Lakeland area has become bound by the school as a community. Lakeland's geographic position with respect to the other districts of Lackawanna County is illustrated in the map given. However, no roads provide direct links to Mid Valley or North Pocono. Also, not shown are neighboring districts Mountain View (Susquehanna County) to the north and Western Wayne (Wayne County) to the east. Long Carbondale and Valley View borders indicate Lakeland's particularly strong relationships with each. They are two of the Chiefs' most competitive athletic rivals. Many Lakeland families have close relatives in, or descend from natives of, both areas. Finally, most of Lakeland's country residents travel to the city of Carbondale or the towns of Valley View regularly for work, shopping, and recreation.

Regions and constituent municipalities[edit]

The district is divided into three regions, which include the following municipalities:[22]

Region I
Region II
Region III

School Board and Administration[edit]

The Lakeland School District is governed by a locally elected, nine-member Board of Education, who serve without compensation for a term of four years, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[23] 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(renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[24] The school board is required by state law to post a financial report on the district in its website by March of each school year.[25]

A 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. These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[26] Pursuant to Act 141 of 2012 which amended the Pennsylvania School Code, all school districts that have hired superintendents on/after the fall of 2012 are required to develop objective performance standards and post them on the district’s website.[27]

Lakeland School Board members, as of December 2016 are:

Academics[edit]

In 2015, Lakeland School District ranked 328th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[28] 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.[29] 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.

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Lakeland School District, was in the 47th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) [36]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Lakeland School District graduation rate declined to 82%.[37]

  • 2013 - 88.6% [38]
  • 2012 - 89%[39]
  • 2011 - 86.5%.[40]
  • 2010 - 86%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[41]
Under former calculations

Lakeland Jr./Sr. High School[edit]

Lakeland Jr./Sr. High School is the district headquarters and houses the district's grade levels 7-12. It is located on Pennsylvania Route 247 near Chapman Lake. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 697 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 32% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of pupils received special education services, while 2.6% of pupils were identified as gifted.[45] In 2013 enrollment was 720 pupils. The school employed 49 teachers.[46] Per the PA Department of Education, 99% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Offered at the high school are Advanced Placement (AP) Courses, including: AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science A, AP English Language & Composition, AP Literature & Composition, AP Physics C: Mechanics, and AP United States Government & Politics.

The school also offers Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Courses in the engineering, computer science, and biomedical science pathways. Classes offered as of the 2016-2017 school year include:

2014 School Performance Profile

Lakeland Junior Senior High School achieved 75.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 74% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 67% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, 64% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. In eighth grade writing, 71% of pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[47][48] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[49]

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.[50] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[51][52]

2013 School Performance Profile

Lakeland Junior Senior High School achieved 71.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 69% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 67% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, only 55.8% showed on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. In 8th grade writing, 72% of pupils showed on grade level writing skills.[53] 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.[54]

AYP History[edit]

In 2012, Lakeland Junior Senior High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[55] From 2003 to 2011, Lakeland Junior Senior High School achieved AYP status each school year.[56]

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.[57] 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.[58]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 60% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[59]
  • 2011 - 73% (11% below basic). State - 69.1%[60]
  • 2010 - 76% (16% below basic). State - 66%[61]
  • 2009 - 78% (15% below basic), State - 65% [62]
  • 2008 - 69% (13% below basic), State - 65% [63]
  • 2007 - 74% (13% below basic), State - 65% [64]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 49% on grade level (30% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[65]
  • 2011 - 55% (18% below basic). State - 60.3%[66]
  • 2010 - 67% (19% below basic). State - 59%[67]
  • 2009 - 57% (23% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 43% (31% below basic), State - 56%
  • 2007 - 43% (27% below basic), State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 36% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[68]
  • 2011 - 39% (11% below basic). State - 40%[69]
  • 2010 - 44% (13% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 50% (14% below basic). State - 40%[70]
  • 2008 - 49%, State - 39%

Eighth grade[edit]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[65]
  • 2011 - 78% (10% below basic) State - 81.8%[71]
  • 2010 - 91% (4% below basic). State - 81%[72]
  • 2009 - 85% (8% below basic), State - 80%
  • 2008 - 91% (6% below basic), State - 78% [73]
  • 2007 - 89.5% (5% below basic), State - 75%

8th Grade Math

  • 2012 - 69% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 76% [74]
  • 2011 - 63% (18% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 77% on grade level (9% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.[75]
  • 2009 - 61% (17% below basic), State - 71% [76]
  • 2008 - 78% (10% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 79% (9% below basic), State - 68%

8th Grade Science

  • 2012 - 67% on grade level (18% below basic). State - 59%[77]
  • 2011 - 62% (25% below basic). State - 58.3%
  • 2010 - 75% (13% below basic). State - 57%[78]
  • 2009 - 60% (13% below basic), State - 55% [79]
  • 2008 - 63%, State - 52% [80]

The Lakeland School District 8th grade placed fifth out of the entire state of Pennsylvania in the writing section of the PSSAs. Also, the Lakeland High School's senior reading team in 2009 came in first place at the Lackawanna County Reading Team Competition. Lakeland also came in 3rd place in the 2008 MathCounts competition. In 2009, they came in 5th place, but team captain Greg Reeves came in 2nd in the individual portion of the competition and came in 1st in the Countdown Round, coming in 1st for Northeast Pennsylvania.[citation needed]

Seventh grade[edit]

7th Grade Reading

  • 2012 - 75% (10% below basic). State - 76%
  • 2011 - 82% (7% below basic). State - 76%
  • 2010 - 75% (13% below basic). State - 73%
  • 2009 - 76% (7% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2008 - 73% (13% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 79% (9% below basic), State - 67%

7th Grade Math

  • 2012 - 82% (7% below basic). State - 80%
  • 2011 - 83% (9% below basic). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 - 67% (16% below basic). State -77%
  • 2009 - 72% (13% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2008 - 58% (20% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2007 - 78% (6% below basic), State - 67%

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 14% of Lakeland School District 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.[81][82] 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.[83][84] 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.

Lakeland Elementary School- Scott Campus[edit]

Part of the high school campus, this building houses grade levels K-6 for residents of Scott Township and Greenfield Township. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 489 pupils, with 27.8% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 9.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 0.5% are identified as gifted.[85] 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.[86] The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, enrollment was 489 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 136 pupils receiving a free or reduced price lunch. The School employed 26.5 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 18:1.[87] 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.[88] The school provided full day kindergarten to all its pupils.[89] The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 66% of 6th graders were on grade level and 45% showed on grade level math skills. In fifth grade, 70% of 5th grade students at Lakeland Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 41% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 58% were on grade level in reading, while 24% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 74% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 56% were on grade level in reading and 39% were on grade level in mathematics.[90] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[91]

2014 School Performance Profile

Lakeland Elementary School achieved a score of 77.7 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 70.5% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, only 67% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 82% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, just 86% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 70% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[92]

2013 School Performance Profile

Lakeland Elementary School achieved a score of 89.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 73% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, 80% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 85% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 94% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 77% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[93]

AYP History

In 2009 and 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[94] The attendance rate was 95% in 2009 and rose to 96% in 2010.[95]

PSSA Results

4th Grade Science;
  • 2010 - 94%, (0% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 91%, (4% below basic), State - 83%
  • 2008 - 87%, (4% below basic), State - 81%

Lakeland Elementary School- Mayfield Campus[edit]

At 501 Linden Street, Mayfield, PA 18433-1953, it houses grade levels K-6 for Carbondale Twp., Jermyn, and Mayfield residents. In 2009 and 2010 the school achieved AYP status.[97] The attendance rate was 95% in 2009 and 2010.[98]

PSSA Results

4th Grade Science;
  • 2010 - 91%, (2% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 94%, (2% below basic), State - 83%
  • 2008 - 88%, (4% below basic), State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, Lakeland School District administration reported that 200 pupils or 13.1% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 46.5% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[100] In December 2009, the District administration reported that 262 pupils or 16.2% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[101] In 2008, the District reported that 16.9% of its pupils received special education services.

The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Special Education Department.[102][103] The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[104] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSA.[105] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[106]

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.[107] 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.[108] 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.[109] 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.[110] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[111]

Lakeland School District received a $864,115 supplement for special education services in 2010.[112] Special education funding was the same for 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013–14 school years. 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.[113][114] For the 2014-2015 school year, Lakeland School District received an increase to $877,880 from the Commonwealth for special education funding even though the number of students receiving special education services had significantly declined.[115]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 30 or 1.8% of its students were gifted in 2009.[116] 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.[117] Through the strategic planning process, the Superintendent must ensure that Lakeland School District provides a continuum of program and service options to meet the needs of all mentally gifted students for enrichment, acceleration, or both.

Bullying Policy[edit]

The Lakeland School Administration reported two incidents of bullying occurring in the schools in 2010. There was also one incident of sexual harassment.[118]

The school board prohibits bullying by district students and employees.[119] 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. 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.[120] District administration are required to annually provide the following information with the district's Safe School Report: the board’s bullying policy, a report of bullying incidents in the school district, and information on the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention or education programs. 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.[121]

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.[122]

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.[123]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Lakeland School District was $55,832 a year.[124] The District employed 116 teachers with a top salary of $110,000.[125][126] Pennsylvania teacher salaries (2013–14) are searchable in a statewide database provided by TribLive News.[127] Lakeland School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[128] After 40 years of service, Pennsylvania public school teachers and administrators can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. 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.[129] In 2014-15, Pennsylvania public school district mandated teacher pension contribution rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total salaries.[130] In 2014-15, the state mandated District contribution to the teacher pension fund rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total District salaries.[131]

In 2010, the Lakeland School District reported employing 117 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $51,656 and a top salary of 116,964.[132] The teacher’s work day is with days in the contract year. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[133]

In 2007, the Lakeland School District employed 104 teachers working 180 days of pupil instruction. The average teacher salary in the district was $50,940.[134] 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.[135]

Per pupil spending

In 2008, per pupil spending at Lakeland School District was $9,381 for each child. This ranked 496th among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.[136] By 2014, Lakeland School District's per pupil spending had rise to $12,516.08.[137] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[138] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[139]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[140] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[141] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[142] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[143]

Administrative spending

Lakeland School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $545.37 per pupil. This is ranked 485th among in the 500 school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[144] Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the District's teachers' union.[145][146]

Reserves

In 2008, the Lakeland School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $957,872.[147] In 2010, Lakeland School District Administration reported an increase to $5,474,356 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. 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.[148] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[149] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[150][151][152] By 2013, lakeland School Board reported holding $4,140,000 in its reserved fund balance and another $766,706 in its unassigned reserve fund.

State Audits

In February 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit on the district. Several findings were reported to the school board and administration. The auditors noted that the district did not take appropriate corrective action regarding erroneous reports and that the transportation department had made some possible Conflict of Interest transactions.[153] The Superintendent and School Board took no action pending a state investigation.[154] In 2011, the transportation director plead guilty to conspiracy to obtain by fraud school district funds.[155][156] In 2010, the state Ethics Commission fined the transportation director $49,529.20. The order from the commission alleged he steered almost $450,000 in van contracts to his live-in girlfriend.[157]

Tuition Students who live in the Lakeland 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 Lakeland 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 2014 tuition rates are Elementary School - $7,577.88, High School - $9,756.29.[158]

Lakeland School District is funded by a combination of: a local tax on income 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. Grants have provided 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 state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[159] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeded $60,000 a year, plus they receive federal Social Security benefits. Both retirement benefits are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[160] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[161][162]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Lakeland School District receives 47.5% of its annual revenue from the state.[163] This nearly meets some education advocates goal of the state providing 50% of district funding.[164]

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $2,585,281 to Lakeland School District, in January 2016.[165] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[166] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[167] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in Basic Eductaion funding under Governor Wolf.[168][169]

In April 2016, Governor Wolf announced his finalized dispersement of 2015-16 state Basic Education Funding. Lakeland School District received a 2.75% increase for a total funding of $5,333,415.[170] This is $52,971 more than the District was to receive by law under the state’s Fair Funding Formula approved in 2015.[171][172] Wolf also altered the Ready to Learn Grant distribution. The District received another $202,117 in Ready To Learn grant which was $34,614 less than it would have received under the approved state formula for distribution.

The highest increase in funding statewide was awarded by Governor Wolf to Wilkinsburg Borough School District which got a 44.1% increase in state Basic Education Funding. The average BEF increase among the Commonwealth’s 500 public school districts for 2015-16 was 2.21%. In Lackawanna County, the highest percentage increase in state funding was awarded to Old Forge School District - 3.51%. The Pennsylvania education budget is $5.93 billion for basic education, a $200 million or 3.5 percent increase over 2014-15 allocation. Another $1.08 billion was allotted for special education funding, a $30 million or 2.9 percent increase over 2014-15. Additionally, the state paid over $500 million towards school employee social security payments and over $1 billion to the teacher's pension fund (PSERS).[173]

For the 2014-15 school year, Lakeland School District received $5,280,444 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $202,117 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[174] The Education budget also included 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 paid $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.[175]

In the 2013-14 school year, Lakeland School District received a 2% increase to $5,183,393 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding (BEF). This is $101,431 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Lakeland School District received $93,268 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Lackawanna County, Mid Valley School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 2.4%. The District had 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.[176] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland School District, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[177] 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.[178]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Lakeland School District received $5,081,962.[179] 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. Lakeland School District received $93,268 in ABG funds. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[180] 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.

In 2011-12 school year, Lakeland School District received $5,081,230 in state Basic Education Funding.[181][182] Additionally, the district will receive $93,268 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. 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.[183] Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.

For the 2010-11 budget year, the Lakeland School District received a 6.96% increase in state basic education funding for a total of $5,618,513. The highest increase in state funding, among Lackawanna County school districts, was awarded to Dunmore School District at 11.88% increase. One hundred fifty school districts in Pennsylvania received the 2% base increase for budget year 2010-11. The highest increase in the state was given to Kennett Consolidated School District of Chester County which was awarded a 23.65% increase in state basic education funding.[184] In 2010, the district reported that 463 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. 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.[185]

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 5.45% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $5,252,912 to Lakeland School District. The highest increase in state basic education funding, to Lackawanna County school districts, was 9.46% increase which was awarded to Scranton School District. In Pennsylvania, 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. Ninety Pennsylvania school district received the state's base 2% increase.[186] The amount of increase each school district received was determined by then Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[187]

The state's Basic Education Funding to the Lakeland School District in 2008-09 was $4,630,531. In 2008, the District reported that 390 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to their family meeting the federal poverty threshold of $22,050 for a family of four. Many state and federal programs use the threshold to calculate benefits.[188] 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.[189][190]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through several funding allocations, including: Reimbursement of Charter School Expenditures; Special Education Funding; Secondary Career & Technical Education Subsidy; PA Accountability Grants; and low achieving schools were eligible for Educational Assistance Program Funding. Plus all Pennsylvania school districts receive federal dollars for various programs including: Special Education funding 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.[191] By 2015, Pennsylvania was spending over $27 billion on public education (local, state and federal resources combined).[192]

Accountability Block Grant[edit]

The state provides additional education funding to schools in the form of Accountability Block Grants. The use of these funds is strictly focused on specific state approved uses designed to improve student academic achievement. Lakeland School District uses its $253,153 to fund all day kindergarten for the seventh year. These annual funds are in addition to the state's basic education funding and all federal funding.[193] School Districts apply each year for Accountability Block Grants.[194] In 2009-10, the state provided $271.4 million in Accountability Block Grants $199.5 million went to providing all-day kindergartens.[195]

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, Mathematics) and paid for mandatory teacher training to optimize the computers' use in the classroom for improving instruction. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Lakeland School District administration did not apply for the grant in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the district received $215,408 in funding. For the 2008-09, school year the district received a final $45,413 for a total funding of $260,821. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.[196]

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11 the Lakeland School District received $42,132.[197]

Project 720[edit]

Project 720 was a high school reform program implemented for three years under the Rendell administration. The intent was to increase academic rigor and improve the instruction of teachers in the Commonwealth’s high schools. Teachers were expected to use data driven instructional practices and to meet the needs of diverse learners.[198] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades.[199] High schools applied for funding and were required to agree to report to the PDE their plans, their actions and the outcomes. In 2007-08 budget year, the Commonwealth provided $11 million in funding. Lakeland School District was one of 161 PA public school districts to apply, receiving $171,000 funding over three years.[200][201] For 2010-11, Project 720 funding was decreased to $1.7 million by Governor Rendell. The grant program was discontinued effective with the 2011-12 state budget.[202]

Federal grants[edit]

The Lakeland School District received $1.4 million in ARRA - Federal stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[203] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.[204] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee, the Governor and the Pennsylvania School Board Association, 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]

Lakeland School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district up to million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[205] Several Lackawanna County school districts applied for funding. Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[206] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[207] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. According to then Governor Rendell, failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[208]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is to provide each child in public schools with “Highly Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[209] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[210] Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Lakeland School District received $59,160 in federal Title II funding.[211] In 2014-15, Lakeland School District applied for and received $55,855.[212]

English language learners grant[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to assist in educating immigrant children and children who are identified as limited English proficient.[213] Upon registering for school a language survey is done for all new enrollment pupils, typically in kindergarten or preschool. They identify the primary language spoken at home. This data is collected and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which in turn notifies the federal government.[214]

In 2012-13, Lakeland School District received $1,086 in Title III funding for English language learners.[215] For 2014-15, Lakeland School District received $285 in Title III funding.[216]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Lakeland School District School Board chose 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.[217] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

In 2014, the Lakeland School Board set the property taxes rate at 97.6600 mills for the 2014-15 school year. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region. 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.[218]

The average yearly property tax paid by Lackawanna County residents amounts to about 3.4% of their yearly income. Lackawanna County ranked 413th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[228] 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.[229] 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%).[230] Pennsylvania's 2011 tax burden of 10.35% ranked 10th highest out of 50 states. The tax burden was above the national average of 9.8%. Pennsylvania's taxpayers paid $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes, including school taxes.[231]

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 permitted to raise taxes above that index, unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the Pennsylvania 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.[232] With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly voted to end most of the Act 1 exceptions leaving only special education costs and pension costs. The cost of construction projects will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum.[233]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Carbondale Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[234]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Lakeland School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for special education cost and for its rapidly rising teacher pension costs. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit.[241]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Lakeland School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[242] 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.[243]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Lakeland School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index.

For the 2012-13 budget year, Lakeland School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. In 2012-13, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 12.36% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For 2012-2013 budget year, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; while 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.[244]

For the 2011-12 school year, Lakeland School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year the Lakeland School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[245]

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.[246]

The Lakeland School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009-10 nor in 2010-11.[247][248] 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.[249]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2011, property tax relief for 3,723 approved residential properties of Lakeland School District was set at $91.[250] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Lakeland School District was $95 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,588 property owners applied for the tax relief.[251] 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.[252]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income residents in Lakeland School District aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently individuals who have income substantially more than $35,000, may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.[253]

Extra-Curricular Activities[edit]

The District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, publicly funded sports program.[254] Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). The Lakeland School District's activities are referred to by the school's mascot, the Chief.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the school district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, a Pennsylvania public cyber charter school, charter school and those who are homeschooled, are all 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.[255]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[256][257][258]

Athletics[edit]

The coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[259] 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.[260][261]

Performing Arts[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Some people

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°34′52″N 75°35′46″W / 41.581°N 75.596°W / 41.581; -75.596