Luzerne Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania

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Luzerne Township
Township municipal building
Township municipal building
Location of Luzerne Township in Fayette County
Location of Luzerne Township in Fayette County
Location of Fayette County in Pennsylvania
Location of Fayette County in Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
 • Total30.74 sq mi (79.61 km2)
 • Land29.53 sq mi (76.49 km2)
 • Water1.21 sq mi (3.12 km2)
 • Total5,965
 • Estimate 
 • Density199.13/sq mi (76.89/km2)
Time zoneUTC-4 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (EDT)
Area code(s)724

Luzerne Township is a township in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,965 at the 2010 census,[3] up from 4,683 at the 2000 census.

The unincorporated communities of East Millsboro, La Belle, Hiller, Isabella, Luzerne, Dutch Hill, Maxwell, Allison, Alicia, East Fredericktown and Penncraft are located within the township. La Belle, Luzerne, Dutch Hill, Maxwell and East Fredericktown are served by the post office in La Belle and thus have the same ZIP code (15450), as does SCI Fayette, a Pennsylvania state prison located next to East Fredericktown.


The Penn-Craft Historic District and Brown-Moore Blacksmith Shop are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]


Luzerne Township is located along the western edge of Fayette County and is bordered to the west by the Monongahela River, which forms the border with Greene and Washington counties. The westernmost point in Fayette County is in Luzerne Township along the Monongahela south of East Millsboro. Dunlap Creek forms the eastern border of the township, flowing north towards the Monongahela at Brownsville, which borders the northeast corner of Luzerne Township.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 30.7 square miles (79.6 km2), of which 29.5 square miles (76.5 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), or 3.92%, is water.[3]

The Mon–Fayette Expressway crosses the northern part of the township, with access from Exit 26 south of Hiller.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20165,881[2]−1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

For the US Census in 2010, the population was 5,956 people,[6] with 1,726 households and 1,163 families.

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 4,683 people, 1,897 households and 1,341 families residing in the township. The population density was 158.3 per square mile (61.1/km²). There were 2,043 housing units at an average density of 69.0/sq mi (26.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 94.85% White, 3.76% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.02% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.

There were 1,897 households, out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the township the population was spread out, with 21.1% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $26,510, and the median income for a family was $35,149. Males had a median income of $30,613 versus $19,890 for females. The per capita income for the township was $18,797. About 9.1% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.0% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.


Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania public school districts showing a portion of Brownsville Area SD in orange
Map of Washington County, Pennsylvania public school districts showing the portion of Brownsville Area SD

The Brownsville Area School District serves children living in Luzerne Township. The district's enrollment declined to 1,660 pupils in 2015.[8] The district served 1,883 pupils in 2006.[9] The district operates four schools::

  • Brownsville Area High School (9–12)
  • Brownsville Area Middle School (6–8)
  • Central Elementary School (3–5)
  • Cox-Donahey Elementary School (K–2)
Statewide ranking

Brownsville Area School District was ranked 468th out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts in 2015, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[10] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science PSSAs and the three Keystone Exams: (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) given in high school.[11] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.[12] In 2007, the district ranked 473rd out of 501 school districts.[13]

Opportunity - Lowest achievement - Scholarship list

In April 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released a report identifying that three Brownsville Area School District schools were among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in the Commonwealth.[14] Central Elementary School, Brownsville Area Middle School and Brownsville Area High School were all on the lowest academic achievement list. The high school has been on the list each school year since 2011-12. Brownsville Area Middle School and Central Elementary School have both been on and off the list over the past 5 years. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012.[15] The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district.[16] Fifty-three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state business tax credit for donating.

AYP status In 2012, Brownsville Area School District declined to District Improvement level I Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to chronic, low academic achievement.[17] Brownsville Area HIgh School declined further to Corrective Action II 1st Year AYP status,[18] due to low student achievement. The administration was required by the federal government under the No Child Left Behind Act to notify parents of the school's poor performance and to offer transferring to a quality school in the district. No other high school is operated in the district.

2015 School Performance Profile

Brownsville Area High School achieved 52.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that just 60% of the high school's students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 47.37% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 42.48% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[19] Statewide, 53 percent of schools with an eleventh grade achieved an academic score of 70 or better. Five percent of the 2,033 schools with 11th grade were scored at 90 and above; 20 percent were scored between 80 and 89; 28 percent between 70 and 79; 25 percent between 60 and 69 and 22 percent below 60. The Keystone Exam results showed: 73 percent of students statewide scored at grade-level in English, 64 percent in Algebra I and 59 percent in biology.[20][21]

Graduation rate

In 2015, Brownsville Area School District's graduation rate was 77.42%.[22]

  • 2014 - 83.73%[23]
  • 2013 - 78.40%[24]
  • 2012 - 86.78%[25]
  • 2011 - 77%.[26]
  • 2010 - 86.78%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[27]


High school aged students can attend the taxpayer funded Fayette County Career and Technical Institute, located in Uniontown, for training in: the building trades, auto mechanics, culinary arts, allied health careers and other areas. The School also offers driver's education courses and dual enrollment college courses in cooperation with Westmoreland County Community College. The Fayette County Career & Technical Institute is accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Fayette County Career and Technology Institute is funded by a consortium of the school districts, which includes: Uniontown Area School District, Albert Gallatin Area School District, Brownsville Area School District and Laurel Highlands School District. The school districts pay a per pupil fee to the tech school each year based on the number of their students attending the tech school.

Charter schools[edit]

Luzerne Township residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 13 public cyber charter schools (in 2015) at no additional cost to the parents. The resident's public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools.[28][29] The tuition rates for Brownsville Area School District for Elementary School was $7,465.49 and for High School was $8,427.07 in 2014.[30] By Commonwealth law, if the district provides transportation for its own students, then the district must provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles of its borders. Residents may also seek admission for their school aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Intermediate unit[edit]

Intermediate Unit #1 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Luzerne Township. [1] Early screening, special education services, speech and hearing therapy, autistic support, preschool classes and many other services are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements. Intermediate units receive taxpayer funding: through subsidies paid by member school districts; through direct charges to users for some services; through the successful application for state and federal competitive grants and through private grants.[31]

Public library[edit]

Luzerne Township community members have access to the Brownsville Free Public Library which is headquartered at 100 Seneca Street, Brownsville. [2] Through it all Pennsylvania residents have access to the Commonwealth's POWER Library [3] online resources, as well as Ask Here PA, which is a research assistance service.


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Luzerne township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. 2010.
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 4, 2015). "Brownsville Area School District Fast Facts 2015".
  9. ^ PDE, Enrollment and Projections by LEA and School 2006-2020, 2010
  10. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 10, 2015). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2015".
  11. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "What makes up a district's School Performance Profile score?".
  12. ^ Paul Jablow (November 18, 2015). "Understanding the PSSA exams". The Notebook.
  13. ^ "Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County". Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011.
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program 2014-15, April, 2014
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (April 2014). "Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program FAQ".
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2012). "Tuition rate Fiscal Year 2011-2012".
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Brownsville Area School District AYP Overview 2012". Archived from the original on March 27, 2016.
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "BROWNSVILLE AREA High School AYP Overview 2012". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Brownsville Area High School School Performance Profile 2015".
  20. ^ Jan Murphy (November 4, 2015). "Report card for state's high schools show overall decline".
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "2015 Keystone Exam School Level Data".
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 4, 2015). "Brownsville Area School District Performance profile 2015".
  23. ^ PDE, Graduation rate by LEA, 2014
  24. ^ PDE, Graduation rate by LEA, 2013
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Brownsville Area School District AYP Data Table 2012". Archived from the original on October 14, 2013.
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Brownsville Area School District AYP Data Table". Archived from the original on October 14, 2013.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Charter Schools".
  29. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "What is a Charter School?".
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2013). "Pennsylvania Public School District Tuition Rates".
  31. ^ Intermediate Unit 1 Administration, About the Intermediate Unit 1, 2015

Coordinates: 39°57′02″N 79°55′29″W / 39.95056°N 79.92472°W / 39.95056; -79.92472