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Brownsville Area School District

Brownsville Area School District
Address
1025 Lewis Street
Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 15417
United States
Information
Type Public
Established 1966
Superintendent Philip J. Savini Jr., Ph.D.
Grades K-12
Enrollment 1899 pupils [1]
 • Kindergarten 137
 • Grade 1 116
 • Grade 2 149
 • Grade 3 143
 • Grade 4 133
 • Grade 5 137
 • Grade 6 151
 • Grade 7 164
 • Grade 8 165
 • Grade 9 180
 • Grade 10 162
 • Grade 11 134
 • Grade 12 128
 • Other Enrollment projected to be 1863 pupils in 2020.
Color(s) Black, White and Gold
Mascot Falcons
Website

The Brownsville Area School District spans portions of two counties. In Fayette County, Pennsylvania it covers the Borough of Brownsville and Brownsville Township, Luzerne Township and Redstone Township in Fayette County. In Washington County, Pennsylvania it covers the Borough of West Brownsville. Brownsville Area School District encompasses approximately 57 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 15,097. In 2009 the district residents' per capita income was $15,486 a year, while the median family income was $32,956 a year.[2] According to District officials, in school year 2005-06 the Brownsville Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,977 pupils. The district employed 141 teachers, 88 full-time and part-time support personnel, and nine administrators. Brownsville Area School District received more than $15 million in state funding in school year 2005-06.

The district operates one Middle/High School and three Elementary Schools. District enrollment is 1,738, and was created in 1966 as a merger of the Brashear, Redstone Township, and Luzerne Township School Districts.

Contents

  • Schools 1
  • Governance 2
  • Academic achievement 3
    • Graduation rate 3.1
    • High school 3.2
    • College remediation rate 3.3
    • Dual enrollment 3.4
      • Challenge Program 3.4.1
    • Graduation requirements 3.5
    • Middle school 3.6
  • Special education 4
    • Gifted education 4.1
  • Budget 5
    • State basic education funding 5.1
      • Accountability Block Grants 5.1.1
      • Education Assistance grant 5.1.2
      • Classrooms for the Future grant 5.1.3
      • Federal Stimulus grant 5.1.4
      • Race to the Top grant 5.1.5
  • Technology grant 6
    • Real estate taxes 6.1
      • Act 1 Adjusted Index 6.1.1
      • Property tax relief 6.1.2
  • Consolidation and enrollment 7
  • Extracurriculars 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Schools

Brownsville Area High School

Built in 1961 near the Redstone football field, that building was salvaged and the new high school in Brownsville was built in 2006. Serves grades 6th-12th. 1 Falcon Drive. Brownsville, Pennsylvania 15417
Telephone: (724) 785-8200 | Year Built: 1966 | Year Renovated: 2005

Brownsville Area Middle School

3 Falcon Drive, Brownsville, Pennsylvania 15417

Elementary Schools (Grades K-5th)
Cardale Elementary School, 2001 - Warning status [3] Just 51% of students area reading on grade level. 74% perform math on grade level.[4]
Year Built
1962.

NOTE: Cardale Elementary school was closed and sold in 2012 due to decline in enrollment.

Central Elementary School Warning status [5] Just 48% of students area reading on grade level. 63% perform math on grade level.[6]

233 Arensburg Road, East Millsboro, Pennsylvania, 15433
Telephone (724) 785-6316 | Year Built: 1965 | Grades 3-5

Cox-Donahey Elementary School Achieved AYP status [7] Just 59% of students area reading on grade level. 70% perform math on grade level.[8]

112 Thorton Road, Brownsville, Pennsylvania 15417
Telephone: (724) 785-9600 | Year Built: 1968 | Grades K-2

Administration Building
Located at the Former Hiller Elementary School Bldg.:
1025 Lewis Street, Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 15417
Telephone: (724) 785-2021 | Year Built: 1964

Closed Schools

  • Colonial Elementary School
  • Hiller Elementary School
  • Redstone Middle School
  • Cardale Elementary School

Governance

The school district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[9] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[10]

Academic achievement

Brownsville Area School District was ranked 467th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2011, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on four years of student academic performance on the reading, writing, math and two years of science PSSAs.[11]

  • 2010 - 472nd [12]
  • 2009 - 470th
  • 2008 - 479th
  • 2007 - 473rd out of 501 school districts.[13]

In 2011, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Brownsville Area ranked 345th. In 2010 the district was 177th. The paper describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[14][15]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Brownsville Area School District was in the lowest 4 percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best) [16]

Graduation rate

In 2011, the graduation rate was 77%.[17] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Brownsville Area High School's rate was 49% for 2010.[18]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 - 84%[19]
  • 2009 - 84% [20]
  • 2008 - 62%
  • 2007 - 85% [21]

High school

In 2011 the school is in Corrective Action Level II - 1st year due to chronic, low student achievement.[22] The school was in Making Progress: in Corrective Action II due to low student achievement. The administration was required by No Child Left Behind 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. The high school is listed among the lowest-performing schools in the Commonwealth.[23][24] The school has been required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop and implement a school improvement plan to address the serious shortcomings reflected in the low student academic success.[25]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 71% on grade level, (9% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[26]
  • 2010 - 55% (28% below basic). State - 66% [27]
  • 2009 - 54% (24% below basic). State - 65% [28]
  • 2008 - 67% (21% below basic). State - 65% [29]
  • 2007 - 50% (31% below basic). State - 65% [30]
11th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 59%, on grade level (17% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2010 - 66%, (23% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 43%, (21% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 56%, (30% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2007 - 26% (37% below basic). State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 37% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[31]
  • 2010 - 28% (28% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 40%, State - 40% [32]
  • 2008 - 27%, (22% below basic). State - 39%

College remediation rate

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 35% of the Brownsville Area High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[33] Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years.[34] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment

The high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books[35] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[36]

For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $4,160 for the program.[37]

Challenge Program

The Challenge Program, Inc. offers $250.00 cash incentives to Senior High School students who excel in the categories of: Academic Improvement, Attendance, Community Service and Academic Excellence. The program partners with businesses to motivate students both in and out of the classroom by encouraging good habits in students that will last throughout their education and into their future careers. For the 2010-2011 school year, the top 10% of students in each of the categories will be eligible to win $250.00.[38]

Graduation requirements

The Brownsville Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 26 credits to graduate, including: Math 4 credits one class each year, English 4 credit (pass one each year), Social Studies 4 credits, Science, including Biology 3.5 credits (Juniors are required to take Global Science and Science 11), Computers 2 courses, School to Career - .5 Credits, Physical Education 2 credits, health 0.5 credit, Arts/Humanities 3.5 credits and electives.[39]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[40]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 2015 and 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[41][42][43]

Middle school

In 2011, the middle school declined to Corrective Action I status due to chronic, low student achievement.[44] In 2010, the school was in Making Progress: in School Improvement II level. The attendance rate was 90% in both 2011 and 2010.[45]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 34% on grade level (39% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 26%, (52% below basic). State – 57% [49]
  • 2009 - 28%, (37% below basic). State - 55% [50]
  • 2008 - 41%, (33% below basic). State - 52% [51]

Special education

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 331 pupils or 17.1% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[52]

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress .[53] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the district's Special Education Department.[54]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[55] The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[56] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[57] Overidentification of students in order to increase state funding has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[58]

The School District received a $1,287,703 supplement for special education services in 2010.[59] For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[60]

Gifted education

The District Administration reported that 59 pupils or 3.08% of its students were gifted in 2009.[61] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[62]

Budget

In 2009, the district reported employing 150 teachers with a salary range of $39,205 to $105,000.[63][64]

In 2007, the district employed 130 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $52,946 for 180 days worked.[65] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[66] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[67]

Brownsville Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $899 per pupil, which ranked 106th in the state. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[68] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[69]

In 2008, the district administration reported that its per pupil spending was $11,974 which ranked 273rd among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $12,122.92 [70]

Reserves In 2010, the district reported zero in an unreserved-designated fund balance. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $968,285.00. [71]

In August 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Many serious findings were reported to the school board and the district's administration. The findings included: Teacher Certification Deficiencies (two individuals have been assigned to positions for which they are not properly certified); Continued Lack of Internal Controls Over Student Activity Fund Practices; Possible Improper Retirement Contributions Reporting (questionable wages for the former superintendent); plus issues regarding funds, transportation, and a lack of documentation of MOUs.[72]

State basic education funding

In 2011-12, the district received a $11,618,273 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[73][74] Additionally, Brownsville Area School District received $175,729 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted State Education Budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[75] The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12.[76] In 2010, the district reported that 1,235 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[77]

For the 2010-11 budget year, the district received a 2.91% increase in Basic Education Funding The highest increase in Fayette County was given to the Laurel Highlands School District which received a 6.29% increase in Basic Education Funding. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest funding increase, in 2010-11, went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[78]

For the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 3.52% increase in Basic Education Funding to Brownsville Area School District, for a total of $12,027,308. Among the districts in Fayette County, the highest increase went to Laurel Highlands School District which got a 4.23%. The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $11,301,719.96. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[79] The amount of increase each school district receives is set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[80]

In 2008, the district reported that 1,106 pupils qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch according to Federal poverty guidelines.

Accountability Block Grants

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010-11, the district applied for and received $476,973 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten, to pay teachers to write new curriculum and to increase instructional time.[81][82]

Education Assistance grant

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11, Uniontown Area School District received $143,685.[83]

Classrooms for the Future grant

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. The School District applied but was rejected by the PDE in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the district received $153,453. The district received $45,413 in 2008-09 for a total funding of $198,866.[84]

Federal Stimulus grant

The district received an extra $2,791,996 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[85] The funding is for the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[86]

Race to the Top grant

District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement. Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[87] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[88][89][90]

Technology grant

In 2010, the district was determined to be eligible for the federal Enhancing Education through Technology grant.[91] The district did not apply for funding.[92] Several Fayette County school districts received funding.

Real estate taxes

Property tax rates in 2011-12 were set by the school board at 16.5700 mills for properties in Fayette County and 93.2100 mills for properties in Washington County. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region.[93] Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[94]

  • 2010-11 - 13.0700 mills for Fayette County and 73.4700 mills for Washington County.[95]
  • 2009-10 - 11.7700 mills for Fayette County and 66.5500 mills for Washington County [96]
  • 2008-09 - 11.0800 mills for Fayette County and 62.1100 mills for Washington County.[97]
  • 2007-08 - 11.0800 mills for Fayette County and 67.2500 mills for Washington County [98]

Act 1 Adjusted Index

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[99] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[100] The following exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS taking into account on the PSERS contribution rate.[101][102]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Brownsville Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[103]

  • 2006-07 - 5.9%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 5.2%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.7%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 6.3%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 4.4%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 2.1%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.6%, Base 1.7% [104]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Brownsville Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Brownsville Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[105]

According to a state report, for the 2011-2012 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions: 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[106]

The Brownsville Area School Board applied for any exception to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011 due to anticipated teacher pension costs.[107] For 2009-10 school budget, the board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index.[108] In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.[109]

Property tax relief

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Brownsville Area School District was $92 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, property owners applied for the tax relief.[110] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Fayette County, 71% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009. In Washington County 73% have applied for tax relief.[111] In Fayette County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to property owners in Uniontown Area School District at $202. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[112] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently, individual with income much more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.[113]

Property taxes in Pennsylvania are relatively high on a national scale. According to the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania ranked 11th in the U.S. in 2008 in terms of property taxes paid as a percentage of home value (1.34%) and 12th in the country in terms of property taxes as a percentage of income (3.55%).[114]

Consolidation and enrollment

In 2011, State Representative Tim Mahoney, of South Union Township, pushed a proposal to consolidate the administration of Fayette County's six school districts into one administration. A study was done, by The Education Management Group, LLC., that demonstrated millions would be saved by consolidating just the administrations into one central administration. Several counties in Pennsylvania have just one school administration, including Philadelphia County, Juniata County School District and Sullivan County School District.[115] In August 2011, Fayette County Judge Ralph Warman barred placement of a voter referendum regarding school administration consolidation, on the November 2011 ballot.[116]

Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[117] Statewide, there are 187 districts that are projected to have an enrollment decline of 15 percent or greater. Geographically, these districts are clustered in western Pennsylvania and in the state’s northern tier.[118]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[119] A study was done examining consolidating Sto-Rox School District with neighboring Cornell School District.[120] The study noted that consolidation could significantly decrease administrative costs for both communities while improving offerings to students.

In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.[121]

Extracurriculars

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[122]

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  110. ^
  111. ^
  112. ^ Tax Relief per Homestead 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Education Report May 1, 2010
  113. ^
  114. ^
  115. ^
  116. ^
  117. ^ "Research Analyzes Rural School District Enrollment and Building Capacity", The Center for Rural Pennsylvania. October 2009.
  118. ^ Trends in Rural School Enrollment: A 20-Year Perspective. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania.
  119. ^
  120. ^
  121. ^
  122. ^

External links

  • District Homepage
  • PIAA Homepage
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