In 2011, the average teacher salary in Halifax Area School District was $52,857 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $17,584 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $70,441. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.
In 2009, Halifax Area School District reported employing 113 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $53,830 and a top salary of $109,200. The teacher’s work day is 7 hours 35 minutes with 189 days in the contract year. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits. The teachers union receives 5 paid days per year to be used to conduct union business.
In 2007, the average teacher salary in the district was $48,404 for 180 days worked. In 2009 the district reported employing over 100 teachers with a salary range of $38,404 to $105,000. Additionally, the employees receive benefits including: health insurance, life insurance, sick leave, grief leave, reimbursed college credits, and a defined benefits pension.
The district administrative costs per pupil in 2008 were $1191 per pupil. The district is ranked 24th among Pennsylvania's 500 districts for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. In July 2007, the school board hired Robert E. Hassinger as superintendent for three years, at an initial salary of $100,000 and an extensive benefits package that included: travel to conferences, life insurance of 2 times salary, health insurance and 28 vacation days. In 2009, Hassinger's salary was reported by the district as $105,000. The Pennsylvania School Board Association tracks salaries for Pennsylvania public school employees. It reports that in 2008 the average superintendent salary in Pennsylvania was $122,165.
In October 2009, the school board approved a contract between Halifax School District and Susquenita School District to provide Special Education services for autistic support students attending the program conducted by the Susquenita High School.
In 2008, the district reported an unreserved designated fund balance of $456,026.00 and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $479,114.00. In 2010, Halifax Area Administration reported an increase to $1,281,546.00 in its unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The unreserved-designated fund balance was $492,804. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.
In 2008 Halifax Area School District per pupil spending was $12,928. This ranked 182nd in 500 Pennsylvania public school districts. In 2010, the District's per pupil spending rose to $16,140.30 which ranked 65th in the Commonwealth.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax - 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. In Pennsylvania, pension income and social security income are exempt from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the individual's level of wealth.
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