Lebanon School District
|Lebanon School District|
|Motto||Live. Learn. Lebanon.|
|Superintendent||Arthur W. C. Abrom, Ed.D.|
|Students and staff|
Lebanon School District is an urban public school district in Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 5 square miles (1300 hectares). According to 2000 local census data, it serves a resident population of 25,297. According to District officials, in school year 2007-08 the LSD provided basic educational services to 4,332 pupils through the employment of 331 teachers, 203 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 26 administrators.
- 1 Schools
- 2 Governance
- 3 Academic achievement
- 4 Lebanon Senior High School
- 5 Special education
- 6 Bullying policy
- 7 Budget
- 8 Extracurricular Activities
- 9 Intermediate Unit
- 10 References
- 11 External links
- Harding Elementary - Building Level Academic Score of 65.8 (2013-2014) 
- Henry Houck Elementary - Building Level Academic Score of 83.9 (2013-2014) 
- Northwest Elementary - Building Level Academic Score of 53.2 (2013-2014) 
- Southwest Elementary - Building Level Academic Score of 71.2 (2013-2014) 
- Southeast Elementary - Building Level Academic Score of 60.5 (2013-2014) 
- Lebanon Middle School - Building Level Academic Score of 53.8 (2013-2014) 
- Willow Street Academy - closed June 2012; former temporary school for 9th grade students during renovations at Lebanon High School
The district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.
The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "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.
Lebanon School District was ranked 417th out of 498 Pennsylvania School Districts in 2015 by the website Schooldigger.com, which ranks districts based on, "an Average Standard Score [of all district schools] by normalizing and averaging each school's test scores across all tests and grades." 
Historical Rankings ( based on PSSA scores)
- 2009 - 482nd
- 2008 - 482nd
- 2007 - 480th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts in 2007.
Lebanon Senior High School
The school earned a 54.9 School Performance Profile (SPP) score in the 2013-2014 school year, down nearly five points from the previous academic year's score of 59.4.
Scores in individual disciplines were as follows:
In 2012, Pennsylvania received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act's accountability measure, which allowed the state to replace the standard Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measure of school success with the current School Performance Profile (SPP) score. The historical scores below represent the former means of evaluation and are therefore difficult to compare to the current scores.
College Remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 42% of Lebanon 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. Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.
The high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. At LHS the courses are offered at Harrisburg Area Community College, Lebanon Valley College, and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school, including the graduation ceremony. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist enrollees in costs for tuition, fees and books. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.
For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $15,812 for the program.
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.
Beginning with the class of 2015, students must take the Keystone Exams in Literature and Algebra 1. As originally drafted, beginning in 2017 the law would have required students to have passed the Keystone exams in order to graduate. However, the requirement that students pass either the Keystone exams in Literature, Biology and Algebra or an equivalent project-based assessment has now been delayed until the 2018-2019 school year. The delay was implemented to order to allow officials "time to resolve some of the unintended consequences of Keystone implementation." 
In the 2012-2013 academic year, Lebanon Middle School earned a 66.2 School Performance Profile (SPP) score, which fell to 53.8 in the 2013-2014 academic year. Scores in individual disciplines were as follows:
The scores below indicate the school's performance on specific PSSA exams prior to the advent of the Performance Profile evaluation metric.
8th Grade Reading:
8th Grade Math:
2010 - 55% on grade level. State - 75%
2009 - 47%, State - 71%
2008 - 52%, State - 70%
8th Grade Science:
2010 - 24% on grade level. State - 57% of 8th graders are on grade level.
2009 - 22%, State - 54%
2008 - 26%, State - 52%
7th Grade Reading:
2010 - 56% on grade level. State - 73%
2009 - 49%, State - 71%
2008 - 45%, State - 70%
7th Grade Math:
2010 - 62% on grade level. State - 77%
2009 - 57%, State - 75%
2008 - 44%, State - 70%
6th Grade Reading:
2010 - 45% on grade level, State - 68%
2009 - 40%, State - 67%
2008 - 48%, State - 67%
6th Grade Math:
2010 - 60% on grade level, State - 78%
2009 - 53%, State - 75%
2008 - 47%, State - 72%
In December 2008, the district reported that 694 pupils or 15% were receiving special education services. By the 2013-2014 academic year, that number had grown to 741 pupils, approximately 16% of the total student population. Lebanon School District provides a wide spectrum of special education services. Services and programs available within the District include learning support, speech/language support, secondary life skills support, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision, adaptive physical education, ESL/LEP, job training, and alternative education programs at the secondary level. The District contracts with Intermediate Unit 13 to provide classes at various schools in Lebanon County to meet the educational needs of students requiring: life skills support, emotional support, sensory support, physical/MDS support, autistic support, basic occupational skills and transition/school-to-work support. Developmental delays are screened for beginning as early as age 3 by IU13 Early Intervention services. Parents request an evaluation for services by contacting the Supervisor of Special Education. The district is required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
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 Department of Special Education.
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.
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.
Lebanon School District received a $2,449,947 supplement for special education services in 2010.
In 2006, the Lebanon School District received a $14,365 Special Education Inclusive Practices mini-grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The grant was to be used for developing and expanding the effective instruction that encourages meaningful participation in regular education settings. Grants could be used to support the implementation of targeted instructional practices, supplementary aids and services, professional development, or related activities.
The Lebanon School Board adopted a policy which prohibits bullying by district students and the 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. 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. 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.
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.
In 2009, the district reported employing over 300 teachers with a starting salary of $39,000 to $124,430 for a 189-day work year. The average teacher salary is $53,412. By contract the teachers work a 6-hour-50-minute day. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit lifetime pension, health insurance (employee pays 10% of the monthly premium), vision insurance, dental insurance, college course reimbursement, 3 paid personal days, 10-12 paid sick days, sabbatical leave, a lump-sum retirement bonus payment for unused sick days of up to $7500, and other benefits. Teachers earn an hourly rate for extra instructional services provided outside the work day when requested by the district.
In 2007, the district employed 266 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $48,364 for 180 days worked.
In 2008, Lebanon School District's administrative costs were $743.62 per pupil. The district ranked 265th of 500 school districts for per-pupil administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.
The district administration reported that per pupil spending in 2008 was $11,150 which ranked 385th in the state's 501 school districts.
Reserves - In 2008, the district reported a deficit of -$431,292 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.
In December 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax for Lebanon City of 1.9%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. 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 personal wealth.
State basic education funding
For the 2010-11 budget year, the Lebanon School District was allotted a 14.46% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $24,763,476. Of the six school districts in Lebanon County, Lebanon School District received the highest state funding increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. Only 16 school district in Pennsylvania received an increase greater than 10%. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding. The amount of increase each school district receives is set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.
In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided an 11.28% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $21,634,580. This was the highest percentage point increase, in Basic Education Funding, for the school districts in Lebanon County. Fifteen school districts in Pennsylvania received increases of over 10% in Basic Education Funding. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $19,441,605. Ninety school districts received a base 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.
Accountability Block Grants
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 Lebanon School District applied for and received $1,108,150 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide:preschool, full-day kindergarten and teacher coaches who work to improve teacher instruction.
Education Assistance grant
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 Lebanon School District received $318,370.
Classrooms for the Future grant
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. Lebanon School District did not apply for funding in 2006-07. In 2007-08 it was awarded $307,274 in funding. In 2008-09 it received $55,186 for a total funding of $362,460. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards 
Federal Stimulus funding
The district received an extra $3,940,473 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding was for 2009-2010 through 2010-2011.
Race to the Top grant
School district officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement. The district was identified by the state department of education as a turnaround district due to poor student achievement. This meant the school district would receive an extra $750 per pupil on top of the base grant funding. 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. 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.
Real estate taxes
The school board levied a real estate tax of 117.5100 mills in 2010-11. 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. On the local level, Pennsylvania 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.
Act 1 Adjusted index
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.
The School District Adjusted Index for the Lebanon School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.
- 2006-07 - 5.8%, Base 3.9%
- 2007-08 - 5.1%, Base 3.4%
- 2008-09 - 6.6%, Base 4.4%
- 2009-10 - 6.2%, Base 4.1%
- 2010-11 - 4.4%, Base 2.9%
- 2011-12 - 2.2%, Base 1.4%
The Lebanon School Board applied for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011, including special education and pension costs. 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.
Property tax relief
In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Lebanon School District was $397 per approved permanent primary residence. This was the highest amount in the Lebanon County. In the district, 4459 property owners applied for the tax relief. 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. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $641 per homestead and farmstead in 2010. CUSD was given $632 in 2009. This was the second year they were the top recipient.
A special investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 76% of homeowners in Lebanon County had applied for the property tax relief.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, so people who make substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate.
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%).
The district's students have access to a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy. Any student who earns a failing grade in two or more full credit course will become ineligible to participate for a period of one week.
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.
Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit (IU#13) region includes: Lebanon County and Lancaster County. The agency provides Lebanon School District, charter schools, the district's home schooled students and area private schools many services, including: Special education services, combined purchasing, and instructional technology services. It runs Sail Summer Academy which offers both art and academic strands designed to meet the individual needs of gifted, talented and high achieving students. Additional services include: Curriculum Mapping, Professional Development for school employees, Adult Education, Nonpublic School Services, Business Services, Migrant & ESL (English as a Second Language), Instructional Services, Special Education, Management Services, and Technology Services. The IU 13 offers preemployment screening, including fingerprinting, for prospective public school employees. It also provides a GED program to adults who want to earn a high school diploma and literacy programs. The Lancasert-Lebanon Intermediate Unit is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors, each a member of a local school board from the 22 school districts. Board members are elected by their fellow school directors for three-year terms that begin July 1. There are 29 intermediate units in Pennsylvania. They are funded by school districts, state and federal program specific funding and grants. IUs do not have the power to tax.
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