- Milton Area School District
Milton Area School District Address 700 Mahoning Street
Milton, Pennsylvania, Union, Northumberland, 17847
Information School board 9 elected members Superintendent Cathy Groller Grades K-12 Kindergarten 180 Grade 1 174 Grade 2 172 Grade 3 157 Grade 4 164 Grade 5 182 Grade 6 172 Grade 7 150 Grade 8 192 Grade 9 196 Grade 10 187 Grade 11 180 Grade 12 171 Other Enrollment projected at 2476 in 2019 Website http://www.milton.k12.pa.us/
The Milton Area School District is a small, rural public school district headquartered in Milton, Pennsylvania. The district is located in Northumberland and Union counties. Milton Area School District encompasses approximately 85 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 15,510. In 2009, the district residents' per capita income was $17,781, while the median family income was $43,023 a year. Per school district officials, in school year 2005-06 the Milton Area School District provided basic educational services to 2,307 pupils through the employment of 200 teachers, 109 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 15 administrators.
The district itself operates three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. In 2010, The Milton Area School District announced a three-phase community project that focused on enhancing pride, tradition, and increasing excellence in both the school and the Milton community. Phase I of this program involved promoting and supporting school colors in the community. Milton Area School District has purchased and displayed welcome signs in and around the community that welcomes visitors to Black Panther Country. The district is served by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU 16).
- 1 Governance
- 2 Awards
- 3 Academic achievement
- 4 Enrollment
- 5 Special Education
- 6 Budget
- 7 Real estate taxes
- 8 Wellness policy
- 9 Bullying Policy
- 10 Extracurriculars
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The school district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 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 "D-" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.
The Montandon Elementary School earned a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School for outstanding performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment for 2005. The students scored 97.7% proficient or better in mathematics and 72.4% proficient in reading.
Milton Area Elementary School was recognized by Standard and Poors for reducing the achievement gap as reflected on their students' math scores in 2006.
In 2011, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked the district 327th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts based on five years of PSSA scores in: reading, writing, mathematics and three years of science.
- 2010 - 359th 
- 2009 - 323rd
- 2008 - 356th 
- 2007 - 356th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts for student academic achievement by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
In 2009, the student academic achievement of the Milton Area School District fell in the lowest 14th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania public school districts. (0-99; 100 is state best) 
- 2011 - 97%  In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4 year cohort graduation rate. Milton Area School District's rate was 89% for 2010.
- Former calculation rate
In 2011, the high school declined to School Improvement Level II due to continuing, low student achievement.  In 2010, the high school declined to School Improvement Level I due to chronic low student achievement. The school administration was required to develop and implement a school improvement plan to raise student achievement. The plan must be made available to the public and must be submitted to the states' department of education. In 2009 the school was in Warning Status.
- PSSA Results
- 11th Grade Reading
- 2011 - 59.9% on grade level. State - 69.1% of 11th graders on grade level. Ranks 17th of 18 high schools, in CSIU16 region, for Reading skills.
- 2010 - 73%, State - 66%  Milton High School ranked 9th of 18 high schools, in CSIU16 region, for Reading skills.
- 2009 - 65%, State - 65%. The 11th grade ranked 10th of 18 high schools in CSIU16 region for Reading skills.
- 2008 - 69%, State - 65%
- 2007 - 53%, State - 65%
- 11th Grade Math
- 2010 - 57.2% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 60% of 11th graders are on grade level. Ranks 13th out of 18 high schools in local CSIU16 region.
- 2010 - 64%, State - 59%. Ranks 10th out of 18 high schools in local CSIU16 region.
- 2009 - 51%, State - 56%
- 2008 - 58%, State - 56%
- 2007 - 49%, State - 53%
- 11th Grade Science
- 2011 - 36.3% on grade level. State - 40.8% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2010 - 36%, State - 39% 
- 2009 - 51%, State - 40% 
- 2008 - 37%, State - 39%
College remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 28% of the Milton 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. This was the highest remediation rate among the IU16 region's high schools. 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.
Starting with the Class of 2011 students must earn 28 credits to graduate. The class of 2011 must earn: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Health 0.5 credit, Computer 0.5 credit, Career Exploration 0.5 credit, Physical Education 2 credits, Arts and Humanities 2 credits, Interdisciplinary Studies 2 credits and Electives 5.5 credits.
Prior to 2010, graduation required a total number of 25.5 credits earned within a four-year sequence consisting of ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades.
By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.
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.
In 2010, the middle school has declined to Making Progress in School Improvement Level I due to chronic low student achievement.
- 8th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 84.2%, State - 81.8% on grade level.
- 2010 - 78%, State - 81%. Ranked 15th out of 19 eighth grades in the CSIU 16 region for reading.
- 2009 - 74%, State - 80%
- 2008 - 85%, State - 78%
- 2007 - 82%, State - 67% 
- 2006 - 72%, State - 70%
- 2005 - 65%, State - 64%
- 8th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 84%, State - 76.2% on grade level. Ranked 9th out of 19 eighth grades in the CSIU 16 region.
- 2010 - 78%, State - 75%
- 2009 - 66%, State - 71%. Ranked 15th out of 19 eighth grades in the CSIU 16 region.
- 2008 - 71%, State - 70% 
- 2007 - 71%, State - 74%
- 2006 - 60%, State - 62% 
- 2005 - 66%, State - 62% 
- 8th Grade Science:
- 2011 - 65.7%, State - 58.3% on grade level. Ranked 13th among 19 - 8th grades in the CSIU16 region.
- 2010 - 66%, State - 57% on grade level. Ranked 9th among 19 - 8th grades in the CSIU16 region.
- 2009 - 52%, State - 55%
- 2008 - 57%, State - 52%
- 7th Grade Reading:
- 2011 - 67.4%, State - 76% on grade level. Ranked 17th out of 19 seventh grades in the CSIU 16 region.
- 2010 - 66%, State - 72% on grade level.Ranked 15th out of 19 seventh grades in the CSIU 16 region. 
- 2009 - 71%, State - 71% 
- 2008 - 59%, State - 70%
- 7th Grade Math:
- 2011 - 66.9%, State -76.6% on grade level. Ranked 17th out of 19 seventh grades in the CSIU 16 region.
- 2010 - 79%, State - 77% on grade level.
- 2009 - 74%, State - 75%
- 2008 - 70%, State - 70% 
- 6th Grade Reading:
- 2011 - 66.3%, State - 69.9% on grade level. Ranked 16th out of 19 school's sixth grades.
- 2010 - 58%, State - 68%
- 2009 - 54%, State - 67%
- 2008 - 50%, State - 67%
- 6th Grade Math:
- 2011 - 75%, State - 78.8% on grade level. Ranked 16th out of 19 CSIU16 region school's sixth grades.
- 2010 - 78%, State - 78% 
- 2009 - 77%, State - 75%
- 2008 - 71%, State - 72%
Milton Area Elementary School
5th Grade Reading:
5th Grade Math:
- 2011 - 80.3% on grade level. State - 74%
- 2010 - 65.1%, State - 76.3%
- 2009 - 58.5%, State - 73%
- 2008 - 65.4%, State - 73%
- 2007 - 60.5%, State - 71%
- 4th Grade Reading
- 2011 - 67.1%, State – 73.3%
- 2010 - 64.5%, State - 73%
- 2009 - 63.9%, State - 72%
- 2008 - 53.6%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 67.1%, State - 60%
- 4th Grade Math
- 2011 - 87.3%, State – 85.3%
- 2010 - 86.1%, State - 84%
- 2009 - 78.3%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 74.7%, State - 80%
- 2007 - 81.6%, State - 78%
- 4th Grade Science
- 2011 - 78%, State – 82.9%
- 2010 - 89%, State - 81%
- 2009 - 81%, State - 83%
- 2008 - 78.6%, State - 81%
- 3rd Grade Reading
- 2011 - 75%, State – 77.2%
- 2010 - 71.1%, State - 75% The school's students ranked 30th out of 36 CSIU16 region elementary schools for on grade level Reading in 2010.
- 2009 - 75%, State - 77%
- 2008 - 55.9%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 56.8%, State - 72%
- 3rd Grade Math
- 2011 - 82.3%, State – 83.5%
- 2010 - 77.1%, State - 84%
- 2009 - 76.4%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 67.1%, State - 80%
- 2007 - 69.1%, State - 78%
The Milton Elementary School's low family income 3rd graders made AYP (59 low income pupils – out of 83) in 2010
- 3rd Graders Reading among low income pupils
2010: 64.5% on grade level, Advanced - 15.3% | Proficient – 49.2%, State – 61.2% on grade level
- 3rd Graders Math low income pupils
2010: 72.9% on grade level, A - 30.5% | P – 42.4%, State - 74.7% on grade level
White Deer Elementary School
5th Grade Reading:
5th Grade Math:
- 2011 - 65.2% on grade level. State - 74%
- 2010 - 81.8%, State - 76.3%
- 2009 - 64.4%, State - 73%
- 2008 - 76.1%, State - 73%
- 2007 - 86.7%, State - 71%
- 4th Grade Reading
- 2011 - 80.4%, State – 73.3%
- 2010 - 54.2%, State - 73%
- 2009 - 70.8%, State - 72%
- 2008 - 71.8%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 58.5%, State - 60%
- 4th Grade Math
- 2011 - 82.6%, State – 85.3%
- 2010 - 68.9%, State - 84%
- 2009 - 85.5%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 87.2%, State - 80%
- 2007 - 80.5%, State - 78%
- 4th Grade Science
- 2011 - 93.8%, State – 82.9%
- 2010 - 81.3%, State - 81%
- 2009 - 81.3%, State - 83%
- 2008 - 92.3%, State - 81%
- 3rd Grade Reading
- 2011 - 88.7%, State – 77.2%
- 2010 - 84.1%, State - 75%
- 2009 - 67.3%, State - 77%
- 2008 - 80.9%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 66.7%, State - 72%
- 3rd Grade Math
- 2011 - 88.7%, State – 83.5%
- 2010 - 90.9%, State - 84%
- 2009 - 67.3%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 80.3%, State - 80%
- 2007 - 71.5%, State - 78%
WHITE DEER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL also made AYP - 13 low income pupils out of 44 3rd graders in 2010. 3rd Graders Reading low income pupils:
2010: 61.5% on grade level, Advanced- 7.7% | Proficient – 53.8%, State – 61.2%
3rd Graders Math low income pupils:
2010: 69.3% on grade level, A - 30.8% | Pt – 38.5%, State - 74.7%
Montandon Elementary School
The school achieved AYP status for 2009, 2010 and 2011.  The attendance rate was 95% for 2009, 2010, and 2011. The school's students ranked 22nd, among 28 CSIU16 region elementary schools, for reading on grade level in 2011.  The 5th grade ranked 27th for reading on grade level in 2010. 
5th Grade Reading:
5th Grade Math:
- 2011 - 68.2% on grade level. State - 74%
- 2010 - 50%, State - 76.3%
- 2009 - 65.4%, State - 73%
- 2008 - 78.2%, State - 73%
- 2007 - 85.7%, State - 71%
- 4th Grade Reading
- 2011 - 88.4%, State – 73.3%
- 2010 - 69.3%, State - 73%
- 2009 - 42.8%, State - 72%
- 2008 - 65.2%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 75.0%, State - 60%
- 4th Grade Math
- 2011 - 88.4%, State – 85.3%
- 2010 - 92.3%, State - 84%
- 2009 - 75%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 82.6%, State - 80%
- 2007 - 79.2%, State - 78%
- 4th Grade Science
- 2011 - 92.6%, State – 82.9%
- 2010 - 96.0%, State - 81%
- 2009 - 67.8%, State - 83%
- 2008 - 97.8%, State - 81%
- 3rd Grade Reading
- 2011 - 82.1%, State – 77.2%
- 2010 - 89.7%, State - 75%
- 2009 - 92.3%, State - 77%
- 2008 - 70.3%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 80.5%, State - 72%
- 3rd Grade Math
- 2011 - 100%, State – 83.5%
- 2010 - 96.9%, State - 84%
- 2009 - 92,4%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 81.5%, State - 80%
- 2007 - 88.9%, State - 78%
MONTANDON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL also made AYP 15 low income pupils out of 29 3rd graders in 2010.
- 3rd Graders Reading low income pupils
2010: 93.3% on grade level, Advanced - 40% | Proficient – 53.3%, State – 61.2%
- 3rd Graders Math low income pupils
2010: 100% on grade level, A- 40% | P – 60%, State - 74.7%
Enrollment in the Milton Area School District 2009 is 2277 students. In 2008, 44% of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Milton Area School District had 1032 students receiving free or reduced lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year. In 2005, Standard & Poors reported the district's student teacher ratio was 13.9 to 1.
In December 2009, the district administration reported that 297 pupils or 12.8% of the district's 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 Coordinator.
In May 2011, the board and teachers union agreed to a one year salary freeze, as well as, no tuition reimbursement plus a 20 percent reduction in salary for all extracurricular and athletic coaches salaries for 2011-12 school year that is projected to save the district $545,000. Additionally, the board eliminated the curriculum director position saving $109,000. Administration salaries were also frozen for one year. Other teacher positions were eliminated when the teachers retire at the end of this school year.
The Milton Area School Board set the budget at $24.8 million for 2007-2008. The board levies a variety of taxes to support its programs. Taxes include 48.39 mills real estate tax in 2007 for district properties located in Northumberland County. For properties located in White Deer Township, Union County the real estate property tax was set at 10.10 mills. The School Board and teachers' union engaged in a Fact Finding process as a part of developing a new contract in 2006. A contract agreement was reached that covered three years 2006 to 2009.
The district administrative costs per pupil in were $549.64 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association, the average salary for a superintendent for the 2007-08 school year was $122,165. In 2010, Cathy Groller was hired as Superintendent at a starting salary of $115,000. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union including: health insurance, life insurance, paid sick days, paid holidays, taxpayer funded dues payments and more.
In 2007, the district employed 173 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $47,380 for 180 days worked. 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. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, sick days, and other benefits.
In September 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school board and the administration.
In 2008, the administration reported that the district per pupil spending was $10,612. This ranked 429th among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax -1.3%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax - 0.5%, per capita taxes of $5 (Section 679) and $10 (Act 511). substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless the of individual's level of wealth.
State basic education funding
In 2011-12, the Milton Area School District will receive $8,658,275 in state Basic Education Funding.  Additionally, the district will receive $153,100 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. Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.
In 2010, the district reported that 1,145 pupils received a free or reduced lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.
For the 2010-11 school year the state provided a 6.46% increase, in state basic education funding, for a total of $9,546,171. This was the highest increase awarded to a district in Northumberland County. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase while Kennett Consolidated School District of Chester County received the highest a 23.65% increase in state funding for 2010-11. The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation made in the Governor's budget proposal released in February each year.
In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 6.18% increase in Basic Education Funding, to the district for a total of $8,966,999. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $8,445,126.50.  The district also received supplemental funding for: Title I (federal funding for low income students), for district size, a poverty supplement from the Commonwealth and more. Mount Carmel Area School District received 6.23% which was the highest increase in Northumberland County in 2009. In Pennsylvania, ninety school districts were allotted the base increase of 2%. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received an increase of 22.31%. Fifteen school districts received Basic Education increases in excess of 10%. 
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 Milton Area School District applied for and received $415,552 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide Full Day Kindergarten for the 7th year.
Education Assistance Grant
The state's Education Assistance Program funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11 the Milton Area School District received $54,593.
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), along with other specialized equipment and provided funding for teacher training to optimize the use of the computers. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Milton Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07 or in 2007-08. The district received $137,788 in extra state funding in 2008-09.
Federal Stimulus Grant
The district received $1,730,608 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low income students. This was in addition to all regular, annual state and federal funding.
Race to the Top grant
School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over one million dollars of additional federal funding for improving student academic achievement. 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.
Common Cents state initiative
The school board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars. After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.
Real estate taxes
For 2011-12 the school board levied a property tax at 53.7100 mills for residents in Northumberland County. District residents in Union County are taxed at 11.14 mills for the 2010-11 school budget year. 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. Additionally, the disparity of district resident's taxation on property taxes is compounded by the district crossing a county line. Property tax rates vary within the school district, depending on where the property is located. School districts located in more than one county are required to apportion the tax levy based on the market value in each county as determined by the State Tax Equalization Board pursuant to section 672.1 of the School Code. As a result, the tax rate increases are not the same for each county in a multi-county school district.
- 2010-11 - 51.0100 mills in Northumberland County. Union County - 11.98 mills.
- 2009-10 - Northumberland County 53.9300 mills, Union County 10.4800 mills.
- 2008-09 - 51.3200 mills in Northumberland County, Union County 10.3000 mills.
In 2010, the State Tax Equalization Board produced a seriously flawed report that properties in several districts had soared in value. In the Milton Area School District, the agency claimed that property values in White Deer Township rose $53 million, from $166 million to $219 million between 2007 to 2008. District residents' property taxes were to increase $400 in one year. After a contentious debate, the agency acknowledged the error and corrected the report. An audit of the agency, called for by local legislators, revealed that the STEB's documentation of municipalities showed 65 percent of the sample contained one or more deficiencies. 
Property tax relief
In 2011, the homesteads and farmsteads in Milton Area School District were allotted $144 in tax relief. This was among the lowest amounts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In the district, 4,279 property owners applied for the tax relief and received approval. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The highest relief in Northumberland County in 2011 went to Shikellamy School District at $166 for 5,391 properties. Among the 500 school districts in the Commonwealth, the highest relief went to Chester-Upland School District at $631.
- 2010 - $148
- 2009 - $163 – 3776 properties.
According to a Pennsylvania Auditor General report, only 55.32% of Northumberland County residents applied for property tax relief from gaming in 2009. In Northumberland County, the highest amount of relief in 2009 went to Mount Carmel Area School District. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania for 2009-2011 went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.
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%).
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 Milton Area School District 2006-2007 through 2012-2013.
- 2006-07 - 5.3%, Base 3.9%
- 2007-08 - 4.7%, Base 3.4%
- 2008-09 - 6.0%, Base 4.4%
- 2009-10 - 5.7%, Base 4.1%
- 2010-11 - 4.0%, Base 2.9%
- 2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%
- 2012-13 - 2.4%, Base 2.2%
For the school budget years 2010-11 and 2011–12, the Milton Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index. Each year, the school district has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
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. With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly repealed most of the Act 1 tax increase exceptions leaving only special education costs, pension costs and prior voter approved (ballot referendum) debt for construction. The cost of construction projects in the future will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum. Districts can no longer raise property taxes to cover increasing health insurance costs for employees. 
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.
Milton Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246. The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."
The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education, physical activity hat are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for its approval.
The Milton Area School Board prohibits bullying by district students. A policy approved in May 2006 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.
The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. The Milton Area School Board determines eligibility policies to participate in these programs.
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.
Milton High School participates in various sports through the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and is a member of the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference since 2008-2009 school year.
Milton School in Cambodia
Spear headed by Michael Conn (a history teacher at Milton High School), the members of Team Cambodia, a group dedicated to raising money to build a school in the Kampong Cham province of Cambodia, and the majority of the student body raised over $30,000. The school is completed and is now in service. Students and faculty members of the Milton School District recently completed a trip to Cambodia to check in and report back to the community on the success of the endeavor.
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- ^ Thousands of Pennsylvania high school graduates head to college unprepared. http://www.pdenewsroom.state.pa.us/newsroom/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=148018
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- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2008). "Milton Area Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2008". http://www.milton.k12.pa.us/district/pdf/2007-2008%20AYP%20Report%20Card.pdf.
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- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "MILTON AREA EL School - School AYP Overview". http://paayp.emetric.net/School/Overview/c49/116495003/5353.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Milton Area Elementary School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". http://paayp.emetric.net/Content/reportcards/RC10S116495003000005353.PDF.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2008). "Milton Area Elementary School Report Card 2008". http://www.scribd.com/doc/24967601/Milton-Area-Elementary-School-Report-Card-2008.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2007). "Milton Area Elementary School report card 2007". http://www.scribd.com/doc/24967716/Milton-Area-Elementary-School-Report-Card-2007.
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- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "White Deer Elementary School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". http://paayp.emetric.net/Content/reportcards/RC10S116495003000003537.PDF.
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- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education K-12 Public School Statistics Report 2009
- ^ http://www.schoolmatters.com/app/data/q/stid=39/llid=116/stllid=151/locid=953558/catid=812/secid=3150/compid=771/site=pes School Matters, Standard & Poors.
- ^ Milton Area SD Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets School Year 2008-2009
- ^ Milton Area School District - Special Education Department - Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services
- ^ Milton School board raises real estate tax, Evamarie Socha, The Daily Item, May 17, 2011
- ^ "School board adopts $24.8M budget". The Daily Item. June 22, 2007. http://www.dailyitem.com/archivesearch/local_story_173001607.html.
- ^ "Milton Area School District Fact Finder Report". http://www.scribd.com/doc/24669377/Milton-Area-School-District-Fact-Finding-for-Teacher-contract.
- ^ Milton Area School District Administration. "Milton Area School District Teachers Contract". http://www.scribd.com/doc/24179572/Milton-Area-School-District-Teachers-Contract-2006-2009.
- ^ Jacob. Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, The Morning Call, Feb 2009.
- ^ Public School Employee Salaries 2007-08 - 11th Annual, Pennsylvania School Board Association, October 2009
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- ^ Fenton, Jacob, Average classroom teacher salary in Northumberland County, 2006-07. The Morning Call. accessed March 2010.
- ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
- ^ Milton Education Association Employment Contract 2009
- ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (September 2009). "MILTON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT". http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/Reports/School.html#Northumberland.
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- ^ Milton Area School District Budget Public Notice, The Daily Item, May 23, 2011
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- ^ PA House Appropriation Committee (June 2010). "Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010-2011". http://www.scribd.com/doc/40153192/PA-Basic-Education-Funding-Printout2-2010-2011.
- ^ Governor's Budget Proposal 2010, Office of Budget, February 2010
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- ^ "Accountability Block Grant Mid Year report". 2009. http://www.scribd.com/doc/23322599/ACCOUNTABILITY-BLOCK-GRANT-Awards.
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- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2010). "Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support". http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=7201&PageID=510952&mode=2&contentid=http://pubcontent.state.pa.us/publishedcontent/publish/global/news_releases/governor_s_office/news_releases/pennsylvania_s__race_to_the_top__fueled_by_effective_reforms__strong_local_support.html.
- ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support
- ^ U.S. Department of Education (March 29, 2010). "Race to the Top Fund,". http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Common Cents program - Making Every Dollar Count". http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/common_cents/8781.
- ^ Milton Area School District Budget Notice, The Daily Item Public Notices, May 23, 2011
- ^ State Tax Equilazation Board (2011). "State Tax Equilization Board about us". http://www.steb.state.pa.us/.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Finances_Real Estate Tax Rates 2010-11". http://www.scribd.com/doc/40000011/Pennsylvania-Department-of-Education-Finances-Real-Estate-Tax-Rates-2010-11.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Pennsylvania School District Finances_Real Estate Tax Rates_0910". http://www.scribd.com/doc/40403084/Pennsylvania-School-District-Finances-Real-Estate-Tax-Rates-0910.
- ^ Pennsylvania School District (2008). "Real Estate Tax Rates 2008-09". http://www.scribd.com/doc/25369575/Pennsylvania-School-District-Real-Estate-Tax-Rates-2008-09.
- ^ Francis Scarcella (June 22, 2010). "STEB director to apologize for $32M mistake". The Daily Item. http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x336266566/STEB-director-to-apologize-for-32M-mistake.
- ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (February 2011). "A Special Performance Audit of the State Tax Equalization Board Certification of Market Values". http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/reports/performance/special/spesteb021011.pdf.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 1, 2011). "Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief 2011,". http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/property_tax_relief_data/20242/northumberland_county/957842.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General Department of Performance Audits (February 2010). "A Special Report: Property Tax Relief in Pennsylvania". http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/Reports/Performance/Special/spePropertyTaxRelief022310.pdf.
- ^ Tax Relief per Homestead 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Education Report May 1, 2009
- ^ New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners, Tax Foundation, September 22, 2009.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2010-11 Act 1 of 2006 Referendum Exception Guidelines". http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/referendum_exceptions/7456.
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- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Pennsylvania Report on Referendum Exceptions 2010-11". http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/referendum_exceptions/7456/report_on_referendum_exceptions/510336.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "SSAct1 Act1 Report 2011-2012 Apr11 Pennsylvania Act 1 Index". http://www.scribd.com/doc/58448046/SSAct1-Act1-Report-2011-2012-Apr11-Pennsylvania-Act-1-Index.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 the Taxpayer Relief Act information". http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/property_tax_relief/7452.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2011). "Report on Exceptions". http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/referendum_exceptions/7456/report_on_referendum_exceptions/510336.
- ^ Pittsburgh Post Gazette (July 28, 2011). "Law could restrict school construction projects". http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11209/1163275-56-0.stm.
- ^ Scarcella, Frank and Pursell, Tricia, (May 25, 2010). "Local school tax assessments exceed state averages.". The Daily Item. http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x1174308659/Local-school-tax-assessments-exceed-state-averages.
- ^ Milton Area School Board Policy Manual - Student Wellness Policy 246
- ^ Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools for the School Nutrition Incentive, Pennsylvania Department of Education — Division of Food and Nutrition. July 2008
- ^ "Milton Area School District Safety Reports 2009". 2009. https://www.safeschoolsreports.state.pa.us/historic/historic/2009/a0da0ad0-502a-4642-88a3-d2fd66422cae.pdf.
- ^ "Pennsylvania Safe Schools Online Reports". 2010. https://www.safeschools.state.pa.us/Main.aspx?App=6a935f44-7cbf-45e1-850b-e29b2f1ff17f&Menu=dbd39a1f-3319-4a75-8f69-d1166dba5d70&res=.
- ^ Milton School Board Bullying Policy
- ^ Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8
- ^ Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania,. "Bullying Prevention advisory". http://www.center-school.org/bullyingprevention/about.php.
- ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education and State Board of Education. "Pennsylvania Academic Standards". http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/022/chapter4/chap4toc.html.
- ^ Policy Extracurriculars 122 and Policy Interscholastic Athletics 123. Milton Area School District Policy Manual. 2010.
- ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities,". http://www.scribd.com/doc/35742869/Governor-Rendell-Says-Home-Schooled-Children-Can-Participate-in-School-District-Extracurricular-Activities.
- ^ Stafford, Todd (May 19, 2007). "New athletic League becomes a reality". The Daily Item,. http://www.dailyitem.com/archivesearch/local_story_139203100.html.
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