Pennsylvania school district using sheep to cut costs

A small school district in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is losing $2 million in state support this year after the state legislature made some of the largest education cuts in decades. But one school has come up with a creative way to take small bite out of that deficit.

Tucked into a very informative article at Stateline about education cuts around the country is the delightful fact that Carlisle's Wilson Middle School assistant principal has donated the use of seven of his sheep to cut the school's grass. The sheep are expected save the district an estimated $15,000 on yearly mowing costs.

"There were some people who called the principals," the district's superintendent, John Friend, told Stateline. "They thought that someone was playing a prank."

The district also installed solar panels last year on the six-acre plot where the sheep graze. Friend hopes the panels will further reduce costs. According to the Patriot-News, a newspaper in central Pennsylvania, the sheep have been grazing there since June, and briefly escaped earlier this month.

But the sheep will not save the district $2 million. School districts around Pennsylvania are laying off teachers and finding other ways to cope with the cuts.