Kiski Area School District Information
Kiski Area is one of 500 public school districts in Pennsylvania. Most of what I knew about KASD came from local newspapers as well as students and employees of the district. The remainder of what I knew was that my property taxes for the school generally went up - some years significantly.
It was the 10.4% increase in my 2004 Washington Township school property taxes followed by another 8.2% increase in 2005 that finally got my attention. Not enough to do something immediately, but enough to react when the most recent school closures and building programs started making news. Déjà vu all over again as the great Yogi Berra once said.
The local newspapers do cover school board meetings and school district issues (in addition to student activities). But, by nature, news is focused on an event, not a comprehensive view of what is happening.
Some information is available on the internet - mostly budget totals, teacher salary ranges, and local household income ranges. In addition, the PA Department of Education has performance metrics available about Kiski Area (and the other school districts). These metrics are periodically published by local papers to compare the performance of area school districts.
So even though I knew how much I was contributing in property taxes,
there was a lot I didn't know about Kiski Area. Even more frustrating,
was where to find answers to my questions. For example,
- How is the management of the school district structured? What is the relationship between the superintendent and the school board?
- What is being done to control costs? What are the primary cost factors? Since 1986 there have been only 3 years in which Washington Township school property taxes have not increased.
- What contracts are in place with school employees and who negotiates/approves these contracts? Who represents the employees? How do these contracts compare with local school districts as well as out-of-state school districts?
- What is the legislative organization and which school board members represent those districts? Which state and federal legislators are aligned with Kiski? Who is running for school board?
- What are the positions of individual school board members on curriculum, policy, costs, and performance of students and staff?
- Where does the money come from? What is the share of the local, state and federal governments? What strings attached to state and federal money?
- What assets and liabilities (maintenance and funding) currently exist and what is the existing debt structure of the district?
- Who sets school policies and how much influence do the state and federal government have? What is the basis of the curriculum and is there a public review?
- How well is the school performing in relation to the other 499 school districts? Is it improving?
Dialog with the Kiski Area School Board
At each school board meeting, attendees are given a handout with the agenda for the meeting. Under the Citizen's Comments agenda items (there are 2), it states "The intention of the audience of citizens is for the Board to listen to you. We will carefully weigh your comments, but may not engage in dialog, which is not the intended purpose of the opportunity."
You can ask a question. The board may respond. Or not.
At an information meeting (April 10, 2013) after a resident read a statement regarding curriculum, the board president made it clear there would be no response because (the school board meeting) was not the place for dialog and the president felt the comments were only an opinion. Which leads to the real question.
The Real Question
Where and when do residents and taxpayers dialog with the Kiski Area School Board?
One goal of Kiski-Area-Info is to gather the information related to the above questions and
make it readily available to the residents and taxpayers of the
communities supporting Kiski Area School District.
Another goal is to foster dialog with the people elected by area residents to represent them.
- Kiski Area Info | Contact Us
- Kiski Area Info contact form for questions, comments or suggestions.
- School Board Eligibility | Kiski Area School District
- Eligibility to be a school board director is based on age and residence requirements as well as prevailing state and federal law. What is required of candidates, appointees and members.
- School Board Meetings | Kiski Area School District
- KASD has at least 2 school board meetings each month that are open to the public. The real meat of the work occurs in executive sessions which are closed to the public. Learn more.
- Kiski Area SD | Legislative Structure
- Kiski Area SD is divided into three legislative regions for local representation. Learn who represents each region as well as population and revenue stats.
- School Board | Members and Candidates
- School board members make all the difference in how Kiski Area School District operates. Learn about the views and background of current members and candidates.
- Laurel Point Elementary | Is Closing a Done Deal
- Laurel Point Elementary was one of three schools selected for closure in the KASD reorganization plan. However, unlike Vandergrift Elementary, it was eligible for state reimbursement for repairs.
- School Budget Overview | Kiski Area
- The process of creating a school budget differs from the process of creating a personal budget. Learn the details of the process at Kiski Area and the primary drivers of increased spending.
- School Budget Revenue | Kiski Area Tax Base
- The revenue to support the school budget is primarily local and state taxes with some additional support from the federal government. You may be surprised to learn the breakdown of the local taxes.
- Employment Contract | Kiski Area Education Association
- The current employment contract between Kiski Area School District and the Kiski Area Education Association went into effect on August 25, 2008. Learn the details of the agreement.
- 2015 School Board Elections | Kiski Area School District
- Five of the positions on the school board of Kiski Area School District are on the primary ballot for the 2015 election. Learn about the candidates in each of the three regions.
- Site Policies | Kiski-Area-Info.com
- Site Policies