Oil City Area School District

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Oil City Area School District
Map of Venango County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
825 Grandview Road
Oil City, Pennsylvania, Venango, 16301
United States
Information
Superintendent Dr. Joseph L. Carrico,
School number (814) 676-1867
Principal Mr. Scott Stahl, Lead Administrator of HS-MS Complex
Vice principal Mrs. Sue Ann Boyles, Dean of Students
Head teacher Mr. Patrick Gavin, Assistant Superintendent
Grades K-12
Enrollment 2235 pupils enrolled in 2010 [1]
Kindergarten 144
Grade 1 169
Grade 2 147
Grade 3 170
Grade 4 181
Grade 5 184
Grade 6 161
Grade 7 165
Grade 8 169
Grade 9 162
Grade 10 197
Grade 11 194
Grade 12 192
Other Enrollment projected to decline to 2100 in 2020.
Website

The Oil City Area School District is a midsized, rural public school district in Venango County, Pennsylvania, centered on the city of Oil City. Other communities that it serves include: the borough of Rouseville, and townships of Oakland, President, and Cornplanter. The district covers approximately 71.4 square miles (185 km2) in central Venango County. According to 2000 federal census data, the district serves a resident population of 16,270. In 2009, the district residents' per capita income was $15,503, while the median family income was $38,401.[2] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [3] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[4] In 2006, the 2,122 student population was 96% white, 3% black, < 0.5% Asian, Native American < 0.5% and 1% Hispanic.[5]

Per school district officials, in school year 2007-08 the Oil City Area School District provided basic educational services to 2,355 pupils. It employed: 167 teachers, 58 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 13 administrators. Oil City Area School District received more than $17.3 million in state education funding for the school year 2007-08. It is one of eight public school districts in Venango County.

The district operates four elementary schools---Hasson Heights, Oakland, Seventh Street, and Smedley Street, plus one middle school and one high school.

Academic achievement[edit]

Oil City Area School District academic achievement is in the lowest 10% of the 500 public school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Oil City Area School District was ranked 457th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2011 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on five years of student academic performance based on the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and three years of science.[6]

  • 2010 - 458th
  • 2009 - 459th
  • 2008 - 446th
  • 2007 - 411th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts.[7]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Oil City Area School District, was in the bottom 8 percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) [8]

In 2011, Oil City Area School District improved to achieving AYP status. In 2010, Oil City School District had declined to Warning AYP status due to the chronic, low student reading and mathematic achievement.[9]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 011, the Oil City Area School District graduation rate declined to 89%.[10] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Oil City Area School District's rate was 83% for 2010.[11]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

  • 2010 - 90% [12]
  • 2009 - 89%
  • 2008 - 82% [13]
  • 2007 - 82% [14]

Graduation requirements[edit]

By law, all Pennsylvania high 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.[15] At Oil City Area Senior High School it is a four-year process that includes community service and career exploration through job shadowing.[16]

By Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 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.[17]

High school[edit]

In 2011, Oil City Area Senior High School declined to School Improvement I status due to chronic low student achievement in mathematics and reading.[18] The Oil City Senior High School had 745 students and 44 teachers in 2010.[19] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the high school's administration to develop and submit for approval a school improvement plan to address the low academic achievement. In 2010, the high school declined to Warning AYP status. In 2009, the school achieved AYP status.[20]

11th Grade Reading:

  • 2011 - 60% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[21]
  • 2010 - 54% (32% below basic). State - 66% [22]
  • 2009 - 58% (23% below basic), State - 65% [23]
  • 2008 - 61% (19% below basic), State - 65% [24]
  • 2007 - 68% (14% below basic), State - 65% [25]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2011 - 47% on grade level (30% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[26]
  • 2010 - 55% (28% below basic). State - 59% [27]
  • 2009 - 57% (23% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 59% (20% below basic), State - 56%
  • 2007 - 49% (25% below basic), State - 53%

11th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 28% on grade level (18% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[28]
  • 2010 - 34% (20% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 29% (19% below basic). State - 40% [29]
  • 2008 - 30%, State - 39%
College remediation

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 17% of Oil City 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.

SAT scores[edit]

From January to June 2011, 95 students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 473. The Math average score was 482. The Writing average score was 441.[32] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among state with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[33] 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.[34]

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school offers the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. 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] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[37] In 2010, the district received a $11,912 state grant to be used to assist students with tuition, fees and books. In 2012, the state ended the grant program, however the program remains open to students.

Middle school[edit]

In 2011, the middle school declined further to Corrective Action II 1st year AYP status due to its failure to improve its low student achievement.[38] Under the No Child Left Behind law, the school is required to permit students to transfer to successful middle school in the district. No alternative school exists. In 2010, the middle school declined to Corrective Action I AYP status due to chronic low student achievement.[39] In 2009, the school was in School Improvement II AYP status. The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the school administration to develop an improvement plan. Students may transfer to a successful school in the district.[40] The attendance was reported as 95%in 2009. In 2010 and 2011 the attendance rate was reported at 93%.[41]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 78% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81.8% of 8th graders on grade level.
  • 2010 - 71%, 43% advanced (15% below basic) State - 81% [42]
  • 2009 - 70%, 44% advanced (15% below basic), State - 80%
  • 2008 - 76%, 40% advanced (14% below basic), State - 78%
  • 2007 - 66%, 30% advanced (12% below basic), State - 75%[43]
8th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 69% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 76.9% [44]
  • 2010 - 74%, 48% advanced (13% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2009 - 73%, 41% advanced (13% below basic). State - 71%
  • 2008 - 69%, 32% advanced (10% below basic). State - 70% [45]
  • 2007 - 69%, 31% advanced (17% below basic). State - 67%
8th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 47% on grade level (30% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 51% (28% below basic). State - 57%.
  • 2009 - 44% (23% below basic), State - 54% [46]
  • 2008 - 46%, State - 52% [47]
7th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 79% on grade level (9% below basic). State – 76% of 7th graders are on grade level.
  • 2010 - 63%, 29% advanced (22% below basic). State - 73%
  • 2009 - 62%, 23% advanced (17% below basic). State - 71.7%
  • 2008 - 57%, 14% advanced (25% below basic). State - 70%
  • 2007 - 62%, 25% advanced (19% below basic). State - 66%
7th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 80% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 - 76%, 44% advanced (14% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2009 - 76%, 46% advanced (12% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2008 - 66%, 32% advanced (21% below basic). State - 72%
  • 2007 - 65%, 29% advanced (18% below basic). State - 67%
6th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 76% on grade level (10% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 69.9% of 6th graders are on grade level.
  • 2010 - 59%, 27% advanced (24% below basic). State - 68%
  • 2009 - 47%, 23% advanced (27% below basic). State - 67%
  • 2008 - 46%, 14% advanced (28% below basic), State - 67%
  • 2007 - 50%, 14% advanced (22% below basic), State - 63%
6th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 65% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 78.8%
  • 2010 - 65%, 42% advanced (18% below basic). State - 78%
  • 2009 - 61%, 36% advanced (19% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2008 - 51%, 26% advanced (25% below basic). State - 72%
  • 2007 - 40%, 8% advanced (30% below basic). State - 69%

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Hasson Heights Elementary School is located at 833 Grandview Rd., Oil City, Pennsylvania. Enrollment is 553 students in 2010 with 38 teachers. The school provides kindergarten through 5th grade with 341 pupils receiving a federal free lunch due to poverty.[48] In 2011, the school improved to achieving AYP status.[49] In mathematics, 66% of the pupils (gr3-5) were on grade level. In reading 62% of the students (gr3-5) were on grade level in 2011. Fourth grade math achievement fell from 81% on grade level (2010) to 67% on grade level (2011). Both reading and math, on grade level achievement, declined in 2011.[50] In 2010, the school was in Warning status AYP level Report Card 2010 [51]
  • Oakland Elementary School is located at 2111 Creek Rd., Cooperstown, Pennsylvania. Enrollment is 117 students in 2010 with 8 teachers. The school provides kindergarten through 5th grade with 49 pupils receiving a federal free lunch due to poverty.[52] In 2011 and 2010, the school achieved AYP status. In 2011, 86% of the students are on grade level in mathematics and 78% are reading on grade level.[53]
  • Seventh Street Elementary School is located at 102 West 7th Street, Oil City, Pennsylvania. It provides third grade through fifth grade. In 2010, enrollment was 185 pupils with 13 teachers, with 116 pupils receiving a federal free lunch.[54] In 2011, the school improved to achieving AYP status. Seventh Street Elementary School was in Warning status due to low student achievement in 2010.[55] In 2011, 72% of the students are on grade level in mathematics and 71% are reading on grade level.[56]
  • Smedley Street Elementary School is located 310 Smedley Street, Oil City, Pennsylvania. It provides kindergarten through second grade. Enrollment was 140 pupils with 89 receiving a free lunch due to family poverty. There are ten teachers in 2010.[57]

The district's elementary schools are Title 1 school wide schools. The Title I Parent Coordinator and the Title I staff provide parent meetings that address topics of interest to schools: i.e. homework, tips, hands on learning, family bookmaking, reading nights, PSSA information, etc. The district administration provided materials for home use at these meetings. An annual meeting is held in the spring to fully explain the Title I program.[58] Title 1 is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a federally funded program of school reading and math assistance and family outreach to children from low income homes.

Special education[edit]

In December 2009, the district administration reported that 525 pupils or 23% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[59]

In accordance with state and federal law, the 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. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, 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 Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. 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 Special Education Department.[60]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving 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.[61] 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.[62] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[63] 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.[64]

Oil City Area School District received a $1,466,039 supplement for special education services in 2010.[65] The state provided the same level of funding for 2011-12.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 59 or 2.64% of its students were gifted in 2009.[66] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor.[67] Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, and dual enrollment with local colleges. 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.[68]

Cyber School[edit]

The district provides a cyber school program for pupils in grade 3rd to 12th. It is provided through Bridgewater Academy. Cyber school students are permitted to attend or participate in all district-sponsored activities, including athletics, clubs, special social events.[69] Students may also choose from several state wide cyber schools. The district pays the full cost of tuition.

Bullying and school safety[edit]

The Oil City Area School District administration reported there were 40 incidents of bullying in the district in 2009-10.[70][71]

The School Board has not provided the district's antibully policy in the school district's web site. No school board policies are posted with the district web site. Incidents of bullying by the coaching staff have been reported in a national psychology journal.[72] The district has implemented an antibullying program in the middle school.[73] All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[74] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[75]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[76]

Budget[edit]

In 2009, the district reports employing over 180 teachers with a starting salary of $38,863 for 180 days for pupil instruction.[77] The average teacher salary was $50,946 while the maximum salary is $110,322.[78] 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.[79] The school day is limited by the union contract to 7.5 hours. Additionally, Oil City Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, 10 sick days, 3 paid bereavement days, paid leave for teacher's religious holidays, and other benefits. Teachers are paid extra when they are required to work outside of the regular school day hours. Severance includes payment for unused sick days up to $12,375. The retirement incentive is up to $10,000 depending on length of service with the district.[80] According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[81]

In 2007, the district employed 165 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $48,084 for 180 school days worked.[82]

Oil City Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $823.06 per pupil. The district is ranked 168th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[83]

In 2008, Oil City Area School District reported spending $11,341 per pupil. This ranked 360th in the commonwealth.[84] In 2010, the per pupil spending increased to $12,818.79 [85] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[86] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[87]

Reserves

In 2009, the district reported $3,876,788 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $1,370,311.[88] In 2010, the unreserved-undesignated fund balance was $3,138,926.00, while the designated fund balance was reported as $2,545,595.00. Pennsylvania public 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.[89]

In July 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Significant findings were reported to the administration and school board.[90]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the individual's wealth.[91]

State basic education funding[edit]

In 2011-12, the district received $13,117,187 in state Basic Education Funding.[92] Additionally, the Oil City School District received $193,572 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania 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. The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District in Allegheny County which received an over 49% increase for 2011-12.[93] In 2010, the district reported that 1,179 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[94]

For the 2010-11 school year, Oil City Area School District received a 2% increase, in state Basic Education Funding, resulting in a $13,962,921 payment.[95] Valley Grove School District received a 3.88% increase, which was the highest increase in BEF in Venango County. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010-11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010-11. The amount of increase each school district received was determined by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocations set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[96]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 4.33% increase in Basic Education funding for Oil City Area School District, for a total of $13,689,139. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $13,121,530.74. The district also received supplemental funding for English language learners, Title 1 federal funding for low-income students, for district size, a poverty supplement from the commonwealth and more.[97] Franklin Area School District received highest increase in BEF awarded by the Commonwealth, in Venango County, for the 2009-10 school year, a 6.43% increase. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[98]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1,005 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[99]

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 Oil City Area School District applied for and received $525,404 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide all-day kindergarten the 5th year and to change to research based instruction.[100][101]

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 to 2009. Oil City Area School District did not apply for funding for 2006-07. In 2007-08 the district received $265,421 and in 2008-09 it received $48,388 for a total funding of $313,809. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future state grant awards.[102]

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 Oil City Area School District did not apply for funding.[103]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $4,038,935 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[104] The funding is for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Oil City Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[105] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[106] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[107] 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.[108]

School Improvement Grant[edit]

In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the federal department of education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were disbursed via a competitive grant program.[109] The Pennsylvania Department of Education had identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding.[110] 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.[111] Due to its chronic low achievement, Oil City Middle School was listed as eligible for funding. Oil City Area School District did not apply for the grant.[112]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Oil City Area School Board chose to not permit the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program access to the district records. 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.[113] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Oil City Area School Board set the 2010-11 the property taxes were 16.6100 mills.[114] 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. 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 (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[115] 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.[116]

  • 2010-11 - 16.6100 mills [117]
  • 2009-10 - 16.6100 mills [118]
  • 2008-09 - 16.6100 mills [119]
  • 2007-08 - 16.6100 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 authorized to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or the school board seeks one or more exceptions from the state's 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.[120] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[121] 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 (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[122][123]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Oil City Area School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.[124]

  • 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% [125]

For the 2011-12 school year the Oil City Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For each annual school budget, the Oil City 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 publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[126]

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.[127] With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly eliminated most of the Act 1 exceptions leaving only special education costs and pension costs. The cost of future large construction projects will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum.[128]

Oil City Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009-10 or in 2010-11.[129] 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.[130]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced the district's property tax relief from gambling would be $277 for each of the 3,836 approved properties.[131][132]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Oil City Area School District was $274 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,878 property owners applied for the tax relief. This was the highest tax relief awarded in Venango County.[133] The tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property on the individual's 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 73% of property owners applied for tax relief in Venango County.[134] Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[135] This was the second year Chester Upland School District was 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 individuals who have income substantially 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.[136]

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%).[137]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and sports. These programs begin with elementary children and extend through high school athletics. Eligibility to participate in these activities 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 home schooled, 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.[138]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Enrollment and Projections by LEA,". 
  2. ^ American Fact Finder, US Census Bureau, 2010
  3. ^ US Census Bureau, (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". 
  4. ^ US Census Bureau (September 2011). "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010". 
  5. ^ New York Times. "Diversity in the classroom". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 2011). "Statewide Honor Roll Information.". 
  7. ^ "Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County,". Pittsburgh Business Times,. May 23, 2007. 
  8. ^ "2009 PSSA RESULTS Oil City Area School District,". The Morning Call. Retrieved June 2011. 
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Oil City School District AYP status report 2011". 
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Oil City Area School District AYP DataTable". 
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Oil City Senior High School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2010 data table". Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  13. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 25, 2009). "Venango County Graduation Rates 2008". 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. "High School Graduation rate 2007". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  15. ^ State Board of Education Pennsylvania. "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements". 
  16. ^ Oil City Senior High School Administration (2010). "Oil City Area School District Graduation Project guidelines". 
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 15, 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". 
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Oil City Senior Area High School AYP Overview". 
  19. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Oil City Senior High School information, 2010
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Oil City Area Senior High School School AYP Overview". 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2010 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  23. ^ The Times-Tribune. (September 2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 PSSA results,". 
  24. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2008). "2007-2008 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2007). "PSSA Math and Reading results". 
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Oil City Area Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  27. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Oil City Area Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010, March 11, 2011
  28. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA results in Science". 
  29. ^ The Times-Tribune (2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 Science PSSA results,". 
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2009). "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report". 
  31. ^ National Center for Education Statistics
  32. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Public School SAT Scores 2011". 
  33. ^ College Board (September 2011). "SAT Scores State By State - Pennsylvania". 
  34. ^ "While U.S. SAT scores dip across the board, N.J. test-takers hold steady". NJ.com. September 2011. 
  35. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Dual Enrollment Guidelines.". 
  36. ^ "Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement.". March 2010. 
  37. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. (April 29, 2010). "Report: PA College Credit Transfer System Makes Higher Education More Affordable, Accessible". 
  38. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "OIL CITY AREA Middle School - School AYP Overview". 
  39. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 2011). "OIL CITY AREA Middle School - School AYP Overview". 
  40. ^ Oil City Middle School Administration (2010). "Corrective Action--Oil City Middle School". 
  41. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "OIL CITY AREA Middle School - School AYP Data Table". 
  42. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Oil City Area Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". 
  43. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "PSSA Math and Reading Results 2007". Retrieved February 10, 2011. 
  44. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Oil City Area Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  45. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "PSSA Results Math and Reading School 2008". Retrieved February 2011. 
  46. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "PSSA Science results 2008-09". Retrieved February 2011. 
  47. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Science Results by School and Grade 2008". Retrieved February 2011. 
  48. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Hasson Heights Elementary School, 2010
  49. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "HASSON HEIGHTS School AYP Overview". 
  50. ^ September 29, 2011. "Hasson Heights Elementary School Academic Achievement report card 2011". 
  51. ^ September 29, 2011. "Hasson Heights Elementary School AYP Overview 2011". 
  52. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Oakland Elementary School, 2010
  53. ^ September 29, 2011. "OAKLAND School Academic Achievement report Card 2011". 
  54. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Seventh Street School, 2010
  55. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "SEVENTH STREET School AYP Overview". 
  56. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "SEVENTH STREET School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  57. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Smedley Street Elementary School, 2010
  58. ^ Oil City Area School District Administration (2010). "Oil City Area School District Title I Involvement Policy". 
  59. ^ Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education (January 31, 2011). "Oil City Area School District Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets School Year 2008-2009". 
  60. ^ Oil City Area School Administration (2010). "Oil City Area School District Special Education Services". 
  61. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Special Education Funding". 
  62. ^ Senator Patrick Browne (November 1, 2011). "Senate Education Committee Holds Hearing on Special Education Funding & Accountability". 
  63. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Amy Morton, Executive Deputy Secretary (November 11, 2011). "Public Hearing: Special Education Funding & Accountability Testimony". 
  64. ^ Baruch Kintisch Education Law Center (November 11, 2011). "Public Hearing: Special Education Funding & Accountability Testimony". 
  65. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Special Education Funding from Pennsylvania State_2010-2011". 
  66. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (Revised December 1, 2009 Child Count (Collected July 2010)). "Gifted Students as Percentage of Total Enrollment by School District/Charter School". 
  67. ^ Oil City Area School District (2010). "Oil City Area Elementary Gifted program". 
  68. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania School Board. "CHAPTER 16. Special Education For Gifted Students". Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  69. ^ Oil City Area School District administration (2010). "Oil City Area School District Cyber Services". 
  70. ^ Pennsylvania Office of Safe Schools. "Oil City Area School District School Safety Annual Report 2009 - 2010". Retrieved February 8, 2011. 
  71. ^ "Pennsylvania Safe Schools Online Reports". February 2011. 
  72. ^ John L. Schinnerer, Ph.D. (2009). "The Consequences of Verbally Abusive Athletic Coaches Oil City PA". 
  73. ^ Oil City Middle School Administration. "OCMS Anti-Bullying Campaign". 
  74. ^ "Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8". 
  75. ^ "Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania, Bullying Prevention advisory". Retrieved January 2011. 
  76. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Academic Standards". 
  77. ^ "Pa. Public School Salaries, 2009". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved February 2011. 
  78. ^ "Oil City Area School Payroll report". openpagov. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  79. ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
  80. ^ "Oil City Area School District Teachers Union Employment Contract 2011". 
  81. ^ "Legislature must act on educators' pension hole.". The Patriot News. February 21, 2010. 
  82. ^ Fenton, Jacob,. "Average classroom teacher salary in Venango County, 2006-07.". The Morning Call. Retrieved June 2011. 
  83. ^ Fenton, Jacob. (Feb 2009). "Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, '". The Morning Call. 
  84. ^ "Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort by Administrative Spending". 
  85. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009-10 Selected Data - 2009-10 Total Expenditures per ADM". 
  86. ^ United States Census Bureau (2009). "States Ranked According to Per Pupil Elementary-Secondary Public School System Finance Amounts: 2008-09". 
  87. ^ US Census Bureau (2009). [.http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_183.asp "Total and current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary education, by function and state or jurisdiction: 2006-07"]. 
  88. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Fund Balances by Local Education Agency 1997 to 2008". 
  89. ^ Jan Murphy (September 22, 2010). "Pennsylvania's public schools boost reserves". 
  90. ^ Pennsylvania Office of Auditor General (July 2010). "OIL CITY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT". 
  91. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (October 2010). "Personal Income Tax Information". 
  92. ^ PA Senate Appropriations Committee (June 28, 2011). "School District 2011-12 funding Report". 
  93. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 30, 2011). "Basic Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  94. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, District Allocations Report 2009, 2009-10
  95. ^ Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee Education Budget information (June 30, 2010). "PA Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010-2011". 
  96. ^ Office of Budget, (February 2010). "Pennsylvania Budget Proposal,". 
  97. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 2009). "Basic Education Funding by School District 2009-10". 
  98. ^ "Pennsylvania Department of Education Report on Funding by school district". October 2009. 
  99. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Funding Report by LEA 2009
  100. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Accountability Block Grant report 2010, Grantee list 2010". 
  101. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Accountability Block Grant Mid Year report". 
  102. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (2008-12-22). "Special Performance Audit Classrooms For the Future grants". 
  103. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Educational Assistance Program Funding 2010-2011 Fiscal Year". Retrieved January 2011. 
  104. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. "Venango County ARRA FUNDING Report". Retrieved February 2011. 
  105. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 9, 2009). "RTTT_Webinar_for_districts_December_2009.pdf". 
  106. ^ Dr. Gerald Zahorchak (December 2008). "Pennsylvania Race to the Top Letter to Superintendents". 
  107. ^ Governor's Press Office release (January 20, 2010). "Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support,". 
  108. ^ U.S. Department of Education (March 29, 2010). "Race to the Top Fund". 
  109. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "School Improvement information". 
  110. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania School Improvement Grant Components_Stat_Requirements". 
  111. ^ "Pennsylvania Department of Education". 2010. 
  112. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "School Improvement grants 2010". 
  113. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Common Cents program - Making Every Dollar Count". Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  114. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Real Estate Tax Rates by School District 2011-12 Real Estate Mills". 
  115. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education,. "Act 511 Tax Report, 2004". 
  116. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2004). "Act 511 Tax Report". 
  117. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Real Estate Tax Millage by School District,". 
  118. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Financial Elements Reports". 
  119. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Financial Elements Reports 2008-09 Real Estate Mills". 
  120. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010-11 Act 1 of 2006 Referendum Exception Guidelines.
  121. ^ Kaitlynn Riely (August 4, 2011). "Law could restrict school construction projects". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  122. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, (June 29, 2011). "SB330 of 2011". 
  123. ^ Eric Boehm (July 1, 2011). "Property tax reform final piece of state budget". PA Independent. 
  124. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 School District Adjusted Index for 2006-2007 through 2011-2012". 
  125. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2011). "2012-2013 School District Adjusted Index Listing". 
  126. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 the Taxpayer Relief Act information". 
  127. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2011). "Report on Exceptions". 
  128. ^ Pittsburgh Post Gazette (July 28, 2011). "Law could restrict school construction projects". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  129. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2010). "Pennsylvania SSAct1_Act1 Exceptions Report 2010-2011 April 2010". 
  130. ^ Scarcella, Frank and Pursell, Tricia (May 25, 2010). "Local school tax assessments exceed state averages". The Daily Item. 
  131. ^ Pennsylvania Department ofEducation (May 1, 2011). "Property Tax Reduction Allocations 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  132. ^ Pennsylvania Department ofEducation (May 1, 2011). "Property Tax Reduction Allocations for Venango County 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  133. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2009). "Estimated Tax Relief Per Homestead and Farmstead May 1, 2009". 
  134. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office, (2010-02-23). "Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief,". 
  135. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, (May 2010). "Tax Relief per Homestead 5-1-10. Report". 
  136. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program". 
  137. ^ Tax Foundation, (September 22, 2009). "New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners,". 
  138. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities,".