Northeast Bradford School District

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Northeast Bradford School District Northeast Bradford Homepage
Nebschool.gif
Address 526 Panther Lane
City Rome, Pennsylvania, 18837
Established 1959
Type Public
Superintendent Mrs. Heather McPherson
Elementary School Principal Mrs. Jennifer Farley
Elementary School Dean of Students Dr. Donald Harris
High School Principal Mr. Gary Martell
High School Dean of Students Mr. James Schmieg
Nurse Mrs. Lynda Coates
Grades K to 12
District Northeast Bradford School District
Mascot panther
Colors Maroon and Gray
School website Northeast Bradford Home Page
Budget $12,313,674 in 2010-11

The Northeast Bradford School District is small, rural public school district located in Rome, Pennsylvania, in the hills of northeast Bradford County. The Northeast Bradford School District operates the Northeast Bradford Jr/Sr High School and the Northeast Bradford Elementary School. Northeast Bradford School District encompasses approximately 169 square miles (440 km2). According to 2004 local census data, it served a resident population of 5,223. In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $16,169, while the median family income was $41,580.[1] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[2] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[3] According to District officials, Northeast Bradford School District provided basic educational services to 880 pupils in 2007-08. Northeast Bradford School District employed: 69 teachers, 47 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 9 administrators. Northeast Bradford School District received more than $7.6 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. In 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Education determined that District's tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,625.35 and at the HS - $10,114.[4] Northeast Bradford uses BLaST Intermediate Unit #17 for various student and professional services.

Map of Bradford County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Governance[edit]

Northeast Bradford 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.[5] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the federal 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 "C-" 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.[6]

Academic achievement[edit]

Northeast Bradford School District was ranked 399th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2012.[7] The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing math and science.[8] The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

  • 2011 - 436th[9]
  • 2010 - 427th[10]
  • 2009 - 410th
  • 2008 - 398th
  • 2007 - 449th out of 501 school districts.[11]
Statewide Overachievers ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Northeast Bradford School District ranked 444th. In 2011, Northeast Bradfrod School District was ranked 436th.[12] The editor 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."[13]

District Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status history

In 2010 and 2011, Northeast Bradford School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for reading and mathematics.[14] In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance. Northeast Bradford School District achieved AYP status every year since 2003.[15]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2011, the graduation rate at Northeast Bradford School District was 91%.[16] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. High School's rate was % for 2010.[17]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Junior Senior High School[edit]

Northeast Bradford Junior Senior High School is located at 526 Panther Lane, Rome. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 384 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 136 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 30 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12.8:1.[22] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 10 teachers had emergency certification to teach.[23]

In 2010 and 2011, Northeast Bradford Junior Senior High School achieved AYP status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[24]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 56% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[25]
  • 2010 - 60% 18(% below basic). State - 66%[26]
  • 2009 - 50% (30% below basic). State - 65% (59 students)[27]
  • 2008 - 61% (21% below basic). State - 65%[28]
  • 2007 - 55% (27% below basic). State - 65%[29]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2011 - 44% on grade level (35% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[30]
  • 2010 - 53% (25% below basic). State - 59%[31]
  • 2009 - 37% (35% below basic). State - 56%.[32]
  • 2008 - 38% (33% below basic). State - 56%[33]
  • 2007 - 40% (36% below basic). State - 53%[34]

11th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 30% on grade level (26% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[35]
  • 2010 - 37% (15% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 23% (22% below basic). State - 40%[36]
  • 2008 - 32% (23% below basic). State - 39%[37]

SAT scores[edit]

From January to June 2011, 32 Northeast Bradford students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 488. The Math average score was 509. The Writing average score was 469.[38] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[39] In the United States, 1.65 million students took the exam in 2011. They averaged 497 (out of 800) verbal, 514 math and 489 in writing.[40]

Graduation requirements[edit]

Northeast Bradford School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: math 3 credits, English 4 credits (must take a credit each year), social studies 3 credits, Senior Humanities 1 credit, science 3 credits, Life skills 0.25 credits, Physical Education 2 credits, health 0.5 credit and electives. To enter the 10th grade a student must have earned six credits. To enter 11th grade a student must have earned 12 credits.[41]

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.[42] Students have a choice of completing either a Work Bound and College Bound project by the end of the third marking period of their senior year. The College Bound project requires the presentation of a public performance, but no extracurricular activity can used to meet this requirement.[43]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2017, 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.[44][45][46] In 2011, Pennsylvania high school students field tested the Algebra 1, Biology and English Lit exams. The statewide results were: Algebra 1 38% on grade level, Biology 35% on grade level and English Lit - 49% on grade level.[47] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Northeast Bradford Junior Senior 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. Northeast Bradford School District has partnerships with Mansfield University (including several online courses) and Clarion University to offer college courses to juniors and seniors. Tenth grade student who are identified as gifted students may also participate. 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 discounted rate. The state offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[48] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[49]

For the 2009-10 funding year, the School District received a state grant of $18,300 for the program.[50] In 2010-11, Northeast Bradford received a $10,359 state grant for the program. The grants were discontinued in 2011 due to a massive state budget deficit, however the discounted courses remain available.

AP courses[edit]

The district pays half the cost for every student taking the AP testing, with students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch being paid for in full by local taxpayers. Northeast Bradford Senior High School episodically offers four Advanced Placements courses: AP English Composition and Literature, AP Psychology, AP Chemistry, AP Spanish Language.

Seventh and eighth grades[edit]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 65% on grade level (17% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 36% (39% below basic). State – 57%[51]
  • 2009 - 60% (30% below basic). State - 55%
  • 2008 - 51% (22% below basic). State - 52%[52]
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.

Elementary school[edit]

Northeast Bradford Elementary School is located at 210 Panther Lane, Rome. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 443 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 197 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 32 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[53] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[54]

In 2011, Northeast Bradford Elementary School achieved AYP status.[55] In 2010, Northeast Bradford Elementary School was in Making Progress: in School Improvement I due to improving student achievement. In 2009, the School was in School Improvement I due to low student achievement in reading and math. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Northeast Bradford Elementary School administration was required to notify parents of the low student achievement, especially in reading, and to offer the opportunity to transfer to a successful school in the district. Since the District operates only one elementary school, no transfer was possible. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education required the school's administration to write a school improvement plan to raise reading and math achievement. The plan had to be submitted to the state's education department for approval. The very low achievement made the school eligible for School Improvement grants from the state and federal government.

In 2011, only 66% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 81% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 53% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 85% of the pupils were on grade level.[56]

PSSA Results
4th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 85%, (5% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 86%, (5% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 87%, (2% below basic), State - 83%
  • 2008 - 94%, (1% below basic), State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 129 pupils or 16% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 137 pupils or 16.5% of the district's pupils received special education services[62]

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.[63] 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.[64] The state requires each district to have a three year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[65] 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.[66]

The School District received a $540,810 supplement for special education services in 2010.[67] For the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. 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.[68][69]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 25 or 2.80% of its students were gifted in 2009. The highest percentage of gifted students reported among all 500 school districts and 100 public charter schools in Pennsylvania was North Allegheny School District with 15.5% of its students identified as gifted.[70] 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.[71][72]

Budget[edit]

In 2009, the district reported employing 107 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $59,879 and a top salary of $100,800.[73] The teachers work a seven-hour day with a preparation period and 30 minute duty-free lunch. The school year is 186 days with 180 instructional days. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance (employees pays 1.75% of the annual salary, towards insurance), life insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, professional development reimbursement, 3 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, 2 paid professional days, 3 paid bereavement days, free flu immunizations, and other benefits.[74] In 2010, the teacher's union and district agreed to a one year pay freeze.[75] The agreement extended the existing collective bargaining agreement between the teachers' union and the School District through June 30, 2012. 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.[76] Special education teachers receive $200 above the salary of other teachers.

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Northeast Bradford School District was $60,431.63 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $15,757.53 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $76,189.16.[77] According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[78]

Northeast Bradford School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $812.24 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[79] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains 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.[80]

In 2008, Northeast Bradford School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $12,229 which ranked 250th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $13,106.17[81] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[82] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[83] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year year 2000-01.[84]

Reserves In 2010, Northeast Bradford School District reported having $4,866,693.00 in its unreserved-undesignated fund with the reserved fund at zero. In 2009, the district reported a balance of $506,354 in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $3,306,948.00.[85] In 2008, the Administration reported $2,618,668 in the District's unreserved-undesignated fund. Pennsylvania school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds by raising taxes and saving their increased revenue.[86]

In November 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the District. The findings were reported to the School Board and the District’s administration. The audit found that one professional employee taught with a lapsed certificate from September 1, 2009 through January 1, 2010. This resulted in a loss of funding from the state.[87]

Northeast Bradford School District received a $905,000 low interest loan from the Commonwealth Finance Authority to build a biomass facility at the elementary and high schools in Orwell Township. The plant is part of an energy conservation project to heat both schools. The funds were used to construct the biomass building and install the system. The total project cost was over $2.3 million and the district will provide $1.4 million in matching funds.[88] The project included connecting the district's potable water systems.

The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%, occupation tax 2070, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, per capita tax $5, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[89][90] Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the district. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[91]

State basic education funding[edit]

For the 2012-13 school year, Northeast Bradford School District will receive $5,736,068.[92] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 includes $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which is an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. The state also provides $100 million for the Accountability Block grant. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS. [93] This amount is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In 2011-12, the district received a $5,660,725 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[94][95] Additionally, the Northeast Bradford School District received $75,343 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $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.[96] 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.[97] In 2010, the district reported that 337 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[98]

In the 2010-2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,930,259 . Among the districts in Bradford County, the highest increase went to Towanda Area School District which got a 6.36% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[99] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.67% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,813,848. Among the districts in Bradford County, the highest increase went to Towanda Area School District which got an 8.43%. The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $5,594,167.20. 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.[100] The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[101] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[102][103]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 316 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[104]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

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 $204,499 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for 6 years.[105][106]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

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 did not apply to participate in 2006-07 or in 2007-08. The district received $74,691 in 2008-09.[107] In Bradford County the highest award $449,423 was given to Troy Area School District. The highest funding state wide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

School Improvement Grant[edit]

In the summer of 2011, the district administration apply for School Improvement Grant funding, from the federal government (over $9.9 million available). The elementary school was eligible for funding due to chronic low achievement. The grant stipulates the funds be used for improving student achievement using one of four federally dictated strategies. The strategies are: transformation, turnaround, restart with new faculty and administration or closure of failing schools.[108] The Pennsylvania Education Secretary awarded $66 million to reform Pennsylvania's lowest-achieving schools in August 2011. The funding is for three years.[109]

For the 2010-11 school year, Northeast Bradford School District received a School Improvement Grant of $66,180.00 It was eligible for funding due to the chronic, low achievement at the elementary school.[110] In 2009-10 the district received $80,676.

In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the federal –US Department of Education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were dispersed via a competitive grant program.[111] The Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding.[112] Pennsylvania required low performing schools to apply or provide documentation about why they had not applied. The funds must be used, by the district, to turn around schools in one of four ways: school closure, restart - close the school and reopen it as a charter school. The other two options involve firing the principal. One would require at least half the faculty in a chronically poor performing school be dismissed. The second involves intensive teacher training coupled with strong curriculum revision or a longer school day.[113]

Education Assistance grant[edit]

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 the School District received $22,712.[114]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

Northeast Bradford School Board elected to participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[115] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes. Savings opportunities were reported to the school Board.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $1,361,029 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[116][117] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[118] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Northeast Bradford School 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.[119] 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.[120] 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.[121][122][123]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2012-13 were set by the Northeast Bradford School Board at 31.9808 mills. 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.[124] 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.[125] When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[126] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[127]

  • 2010-11 - 30.5891 mills[128]
  • 2009-10 - 29.33 mills.[129]
  • 2008-09 - 28.15 mills.[130]
  • 2007-08 - 26.65 mills.[131]
  • 2006-07 - 24.65 mills.[132]
  • 2005-06 - 20.65 mills[133]
  • 2004-05 - 19.50 mills
  • 2003-04 - 17.15 mills
  • 2002-03 - 17.15 mills
  • 2001-02 - 16.90 mills
  • 2000-01 - 16.90 mills
  • 1999-00 - 16.90 mills (county reassessment)
  • 1998-99 - 21.00 mills

Act 1 Adjusted Index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not permitted to raise property taxes above that Index unless they either: 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.[134] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[135] Several 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 (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[136][137]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Northeast Bradford School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[138]

  • 2006-07 - 5.8%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 5.0%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.5%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 6.1%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 4.3%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.5%, Base 1.7%[139]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Northeast Bradford School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[140]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Northeast Bradford School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Northeast Bradford 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.[141]

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.[142]

The School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[143] For 2009-10 school budget, the board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index.[144] 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.[145]

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%).[146]

Extracurriculars[edit]

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 residing 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.[147]

Sports at Northeast Bradford[edit]

Northeast Bradford has a well-developed sports program with Varsity sports, including
Boys Soccer
Girls Soccer
Golf
Boys Cross Country
Girls Cross Country
Girls Volleyball
Boys Basketball
Girls Basketball
Wrestling
Varsity Cheer Leading for both Basketball and Wrestling.
Track & Field
Baseball
Softball

  • The NEB Cross Country team went undefeated in the Northern Tier League for 4 years, spanning from 2001 to 2005
  • The NEB Boys Cross Country team won the 2012 PIAA single A team championship at Hershey PA.

Extra Curricular Activities[edit]

Northeast Bradford has a quality, but recently limited variety of extra curricular activities other than sports for students to choose from.

  • Student Government Association
  • National Honor Society
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.)
  • Band Front
  • Marching and Concert Band
  • Jazz Band
  • Future Farmers of America
  • Friends of Rachel (F.O.R)

The Marching Band[edit]

The Northeast Bradford Marching Band has received high honors at multiple competitions over the last few years, including Cavalcade of Bands.

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