• Joint District

    Despite the acknowledgement and desire for a school-wide comprehensive program, the duration of the extensive process took longer than expected. The merging of the surrounding school systems into a singular unified district spanned a period of 20 years.

    One obstacle for the jointure was the state reimbursement program. It was established in the early 1920s and continued until 1945, to discourage the enlargement of school populations since increases in district size could result in reduced state appropriations.

    However, after WWII, the state began to focus its attention on smaller schools and districts struggling to maintain adequate educational programs. In accordance with this new outlook, ACT 403 in 1945 was passed and changed the method of apportioning state funds from a teacher basis to a teaching unit basis--thereby penalizing more moderate school systems instead of larger districts.

    Although prior to ACT 403 there was some opposition to the merger, various policies and programs were implemented nonetheless to serve as a catalyst for progression. An initial salary schedule was adopted in 1940 and increased over the years to attract quality faculty and provide them with benefits. To serve as a liaison between the requests of teachers and administrators to attain mutually beneficial outcomes, the State College Teachers Organization was formed in the 1940s.

    On June 12, 1947, the Halfmoon directors voted 4 to 1 to form a joint district with State College, effective July 1. The joint school was designated the State College Area Joint School Board. Each district retained legal title to existing buildings, while the joint board became responsible for future expansion and future purchases of equipment.

    In 1948, the Halfmoon Township sold the Centennial school for $300. This same year, the Bellefonte and State College districts voted to become independent systems, withdrawing from the Office of the County Superintendent of Schools. (The State College district rescinded this withdrawal action on April 12,1949.)

    The collaboration of College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton townships as well as State College Borough and Halfmoon Township was formed to become effective July 1, 1950 to be known as the College Area Joint School District with a 32-member board.

    Effective July 1, 1955, another jointure agreement renamed the district the College Area Schools, operated by the College Area School Board. This agreement provided for a joint school committee of two members from each of the original six districts, with officers of the College Area School Board serving as ex officio members.

Last Modified on June 25, 2011