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Judge approves petition for Highspire to switch school districts

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A judge in Harrisburg has approved a petition signed by more than half of Highspire residents who want to switch school districts. "We got over 55 percent of the taxpayers to sign a petition requesting that this matter go to the Department of Education, and that they review it based on educational merit," said the Highspire Education Coalition's lawyer David Deluce.

What they'll review is whether to allow the roughly 200 students who go to Steelton-Highspire schools to switch to the Middletown Area School District. "A lot of the students are friends with Middletown students. Three blocks away from where I live is Middletown School District. So we're actually closer to Middletown School District than we are to Steelton," said the head of the Highspire Education Coalition Kenneth Becker.

Parents want to switch districts because Steelton-Highspire has struggled with debt and has teachers who lack proper credentials. "Friends and neighbors all have had the same frustration, and in January we got together and said what can we do about this," said Becker. If the Department of Education approves the switch then the $1.8 million in taxes that Highspire Borough residents pay for education would instead go to the Middletown Area School District. But it's not happening anytime soon. "Most of these cases go on for a couple years. It's not going to happen overnight," said Deluce.

Ellen Castagneto, the superintendent of the Steelton-Highspire School District, said the district “will continue to focus on building highly effective schools and increasing student achievement for all our students.”


  • willie Slade

    Why would you put in your headline “Steel-High students given permission to switch schools” when that is not the case? This was just a procedural hearing to show that there were enough signatures on the petition to move forward. Please be clearer with your headlines.

  • OneMan'sOpinion

    The most efficient thing to do is to attempt to combine Middletown and Steelton-Highspire districts. The more practical thing to do is to form a group to elect a school board that changes the atmosphere. The more separatist thing to do is form your own school district to do things the way the Highspire community wants to do it – in other words, if you don’t like how others are doing it, do it yourself.

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