Deer Lakes School District
The Deer Lakes School District is a small, suburban, K-12 public school district near Pittsburgh which covers East Deer, Frazer, and West Deer townships in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Deer Lakes School District encompasses approximately 41 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 14,211 people. In 2009, the district residents' per capita income was $19,918, while the median family income was $50,671.  Per District officials, in school year 2007-08 the Deer Lakes School District provided basic educational services to 1,957 pupils. It employed 163 teachers, 128 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 17 administrators in 2008. Deer Lakes School District received more than $9.6 million in state funding for the school year 2007-08.
|Deer Lakes School District|
21 East Union Road
|Superintendent||Janell Logue-Belden, D.Ed.|
|Principal||Mr. Pat Baughman, DLHS|
|Principal||Mr. David Campos, DLMS|
|Principal||Mr. James Schweinberg, EUIC|
|Principal||Mrs. Jennifer Cavalancia, CPC|
|Faculty||157 teachers (2010)|
|• Grade 1||129|
|• Grade 2||122|
|• Grade 3||132|
|• Grade 4||154|
|• Grade 5||160|
|• Grade 6||164|
|• Grade 7||136|
|• Grade 8||141|
|• Grade 9||176|
|• Grade 10||151|
|• Grade 11||163|
|• Grade 12||157|
|• Other||Enrollment declining to 1781 by 2019 |
|Average class size||20-35|
|Color(s)||Green and Gold|
|Budget||$31.4 million 2012-13 |
The district operates four schools: Curtisville Elementary School (K-2nd), East Union Intermediate Center (3rd-5th), Deer Lakes Middle School (6th–8th) and Deer Lakes High School (9th–12th). The district also operates a preschool program.
Deer Lakes School District was ranked 31st out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts in 2009 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic achievement as demonstrated on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing and one year of science. In 2008, the school ranked 36th out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts.
In 2011, Deer Lakes School District was ranked 164th out of the 498 ranked Pennsylvania School Districts. The ranking is based on five years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in reading, writing, math and three years of science. 
In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Deer Lakes School District, was in the 63rd percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) 
According to traditional graduation rate calculations:
Deer Lakes High SchoolEdit
In 2009 and 2010, the high school achieved AYP status.  Deer Lakes High School was ranked 39th out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools in 2009 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on four years of student academic achievement as demonstrated on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing and two years of science.
- PSSA Results
- 11th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 72%, State - 67% of 11th graders on grade level. 
- 2009 - 79%, State - 65% 
- 2008 - 67%, State - 65%
- 2007 - 79%, State - 65% 
- 11th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 64% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 65%, State - 56% 
- 2008 - 76%, State - 56%
- 2007 - 69%, State - 53%
- 11th Grade Science:
- 2010 - 37% on grade level. State - 39% of 11th graders on grade level.
- 2009 - 49%, State - 40% 
- 2008 - 35%, State - 39% 
College Remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 22% of Deer Lakes 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.
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.
By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the graduating classes 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.
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. 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. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students 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. The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.
For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $13,672 for the program.
In 2009 and 2010, the school achieved AYP status. 
The middle school eighth grade ranked 44th out of 141 western Pennsylvania eighth grades, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2009, for academic achievement as reflected by three years of results on: math, reading, writing and one year of science PSSAs.
8th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 89% on grade level (3% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81% of 8th graders on grade level. 
- 2009 - 86% (8% below basic), State - 80.9% 
- 2008 - 83%, State - 78%
- 2007 - 82%, State - 75%
8th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 83% on grade level (%9 below basic). In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 77% on grade level. State: 71% of 8th graders were on grade level.
- 2008 - 79%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 79%, State - 67%
- 8th Grade Science:
- 2010 - 71% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 57% of 8th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 63% (12% below basic), State - 55%.
- 2008 - 57%, State - 50% 
7th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 79% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 73% of 7th graders on grade level.
- 2009 - 78% (6% below basic), State - 71%
- 2008 - 78% (9% below basic), State - 70%
- 2007 - 71% (14% below basic), State - 67%
7th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 84% on grade level (8% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 77% of 7th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 80% (11% below basic), State - 75%
- 2008 - 77% (12% below basic), State - 71%
- 2007 - 73% (11% below basic), State - 67%
6th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 72% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 68% of 6th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 74% (9% below basic), State - 67%
- 2008 - 73% (7% below basic), State - 67%
- 2007 - 77% (6% below basic), State - 63%
6th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 81% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 78% of 6th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 78% (12% below basic), State - 75%
- 2008 - 80% (12% below basic), State - 72%
- 2007 - 74% (11% below basic), State - 69%
In December 2009, the district administration reported that 334 pupils or 16.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. 
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.
Deer Lakes School District received a $1,156,620 supplemental funding to pay for special education services for its students, in 2010.
For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required. 
In 2007, the district employed 152 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $55,249 for 180 days worked. In Pennsylvania, the average salary of the 124,100 public school teachers was $54,977. 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. According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.
The district administrative costs per pupil in 2008 were $868.13 per pupil. 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 2008, Mark W. King, Superintendent, received $135,449. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.
In 2008, the Deer Lakes School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $3,422,912.00.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, grants, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. In Pennsylvania, pension income and social security income are exempt from Pennsylvania personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of income.
State basic education fundingEdit
In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $5,764,240. This was the lowest percentage point increase, in Basic Education Funding, for the school districts in Allegheny County and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Four county school districts received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2008-10. Chartiers Valley School District received an 8.17% increase. In Pennsylvania, over 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. The state's Basic Education Funding to the Deer Lakes School District in 2008-09 was $5,651,215.24.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 391 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.
Race to the Top grantEdit
School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the district would have received hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars 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 in the first round of the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved. A second round of state RTTT application judging will occur in June 2010.
Federal Stimulus fundingEdit
Real estate taxesEdit
The Deer Lakes School Board set property tax rates in 2009-10 at 26.2500 mills. Property tax rates in 2008-2009 were set at 25.3230 mills. The millage rate was 24.0350 in 2007. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the Commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region.
Property tax reliefEdit
In 2010, property tax relief for Deer Lakes School District was set at $204 for 4,578 approved properties. In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Deer Lakes School District was $208 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 4,485 property owners applied for the tax relief. In Pennsylvania the highest 2010 property tax relief was for Chester Upland School District which was given $632 per homestead. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Allegheny County, 60% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.
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. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.
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%).
Enrollment and ConsolidationEdit
A proposal has been made by David Wassell, a prominent resident and leader in Allegheny County, to consolidate Allegheny County school districts to save tax dollars and improve student services. The proposal is that Allegheny Valley School District join with Deer Lakes School District.
Governor Edward Rendell proposed that consolidation with adjacent school districts, in each county, would achieve substantial cost savings. The savings could be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.
Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[better source needed] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the respondents stated that they believed consolidation would save money without closing any schools.
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.
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education Enrollment and Projections Deer Lakes School District. January 2009.
- Chute, Eleanor and Niederberger, Mary., 16 of 43 school districts in Allegheny County hike taxes, July 15, 2012
- American Fact Finder, US Census Bureau, 2009
- Western Pennsylvania School District Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009.
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- "2009 PSSA RESULTS Deer Lakes School District". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". Archived from the original on September 14, 2010.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Deer Lakes SD - District AYP Data Table". Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Deer Lakes School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children - High School Graduation 2007 Report
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Deer Lakes High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
- Deer Lakes School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 14, 2010). "2010 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results,".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing Results by School and Grade".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "2009 PSSAs: Science Results by School and Grade".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Report PSSA Science by school and grade 2008".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2009). "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report".[permanent dead link]
- National Center for Education Statistics
- Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". Archived from the original on February 23, 2014.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Dual Enrollment Guidelines". Archived from the original on October 17, 2014.
- Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement. Site accessed March 2010.
- Report: PA College Credit Transfer System Makes Higher Education More Affordable, Accessible, Pennsylvania Department of Education. April 29, 2010
- Pennsylvania Department of Education Dual Enrollment Fall Grants 2009-10. August 2009
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "DEER LAKES MS - School AYP Overview". Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- The Rankings: 8th Grades, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Deer Lakes Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
- Pennsylvania Reading, Math, Science and Writing PSSA Results 2009 as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, August 2009.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (September 14, 2010). "2010 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results".
- Deer Lakes Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009
- Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (August 2008). "Science PSSA 2008 by Schools".
- Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education Services (2010). "Deer Lakes School District Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets". Archived from the original on August 24, 2011.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Special Education Funding".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Special Education Funding from Pennsylvania State_2010-2011".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year".
- Fenton, Jacob, Average classroom teacher salary in Allegheny County, 2006-07. The Morning Call. Accessed March 2010.
- Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
- Deer Lakes Professional Education Association Employment Contract 2009
- Legislature must act on educators' pension hole. The Patriot News. February 21, 2010
- Fenton, 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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- Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support. January 20, 2010
- Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support
- Race to the Top Fund, U.S. Department of Education, March 29, 2010.
- Allegheny County ARRA FUNDING "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 7, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- School District Tax Millages 2009 in Allegheny County, Allegheny County Treasurer's Office. May 5, 2010
- Real Estate Tax Millage by School District, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. 2009
- Tax Relief per Homestead 2010. Pennsylvania Department of Education Report by School District May 1, 2010
- Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief, Auditor General Office, February 23, 2010.
- New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners, Tax Foundation, September 22, 2009.
- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09172/978701-109.stm Wassel, David, The Next Page: For a New Allegheny County -- 26 school districts, 26 municipalities. The PostGazette.com. June 21, 2009.
- Pennsylvania Public School Enrollments. January 2009
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- Study of the cost-effectiveness of consolidating Pennsylvania districts. New York: Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services. 2007, p. 6.
- School District Policy Manual Policy 122 Extracurriculars and Policy 123 interscholastic Athletics.
- Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005