Oswayo Valley School District

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Oswayo Valley School District
Map of Potter County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
PO Box 610
Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania, Potter County and McKean County, 16748
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members regions - 3
Superintendent Dr. Frank McClard $105,000 (2012-2015) resigned January 2015[1]
Principal Mrs. Carolyn Fugate, ES
Principal Mr. Brice Benson, MS/HS
Staff 40 non teaching staff members [2]
Faculty 38.5 teachers 2011 [3]
Grades PreK-12
Age 4 years old Preschool to 21 years old for special education
Pupils

470 pupils (2014)
502 pupils (2012)[4]
516 pupils (2010) [5]

533 pupils (2006)[6]
 • Kindergarten 34 (2012), 51 (2010)
 • Grade 1 26 (2012), 19
 • Grade 2 34 (2012), 29
 • Grade 3 30 (2012), 37
 • Grade 4 25 (2012), 38
 • Grade 5 28 (2012), 31
 • Grade 6 37 (2012), 47
 • Grade 7 36 (2012), 47
 • Grade 8 28 (2012), 40
 • Grade 9 51 (2012), 48
 • Grade 10 41 (2012), 40
 • Grade 11 40 (2012), 56
 • Grade 12 43 (2012), 33 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment is projected to decline to 445 in 2019 [7]
Language English
Budget $7,778,447 (2011) [8]
Per pupil spending $22,315 (2008) ranks 5th in PA
Per pupil spending $14,406.00 (2010) rank 172nd
Website
Map of McKean County, Pennsylvania School Districts

The Oswayo Valley School District is a small, rural public school district serving portions of Potter County and McKean County. Oswayo Valley School District encompasses approximately 125 square miles (320 km2). The school serves the boroughs of Oswayo and Shinglehouse, as well as Clara Township, Sharon Township, and Oswayo Township. McKean County's Ceres Township is also within district boundaries. According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 3,738. In 2010 the population had declined to 3,305. The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 87% high school graduates and 9% college graduates.[9]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 54.9% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[10] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $13,984, while the median family income was $37,340.[11] In Potter County, the median household income was $39,196.[12] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[13] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[14]

According to Oswayo Valley School District officials, in school year 2009-10 the Oswayo Valley School District provided basic educational services to 535 pupils. Oswayo Valley School District employed: 42 teachers, 28 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 3 administrators. Oswayo Valley School District received more than $4.7 million in state funding in school year 2009-10. In 2011-12, the District reported having 511 pupils. It employed: 40 teachers, 28 full-time and part-time support personnel, and increased to six (6) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. The District received $4.9 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year.

Oswayo Valley School District operates: an elementary school (PreK - 5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12). High school students may choose to attend Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit IU9 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty. The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to School Matters, Oswayo Valley School District had a 13.7 to 1 student - teacher ratio. It spent $11,275 per pupil in 2006.[15]

Governance[edit]

Oswayo Valley School District is governed by a 9-member school board that is elected to serve four-year terms, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[16] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates that the district focus its federal funding resources on student reading and math skills. The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[17]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave Oswayo Valley School Board and the district's administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[18]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2014, Oswayo Valley School District School District ranked 228th out of 496 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[19] The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[20] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Oswayo Valley School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[22] In 2011, Oswayo Valley School District also achieved AYP status. 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 Pennsylvania public 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.[23] Oswayo Valley School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2009, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[24]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Oswayo Valley School District’s graduation rate was 95%.[25]

  • 2013 - 84% [26]
  • 2012 - 91%.[27]
  • 2011 - 86%.[28]
  • 2010 - 83.78%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[29]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school[edit]

Oswayo Valley High School is located at 318 Oswayo Street, Shinglehouse. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 165 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 48% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 15% of pupils received special education services, while 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 14 teachers.[34] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Oswayo Valley High School reported an enrollment of 195 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 83 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school is designated as a Title I school. The school employed 12 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[35] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of Oswayo Valley High School teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[36]

2014 School Performance Profile

Oswayo Valley High School achieved 65.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 68% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 56% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 70.7% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[37] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[38]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[39] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[40][41]

2013 School Performance Profile

Oswayo Valley High School achieved 70.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 78% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 75% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, just 35% showed on grade level science understanding.[42] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[43]

AYP History

In 2012 and 2011, Oswayo Valley High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).[44] In grades 9-12, tutoring is built into the school day schedule where students are at risk of failing or not attaining proficiency receive mandatory small group tutoring from highly qualified teachers. From 2003 through 2010, Oswayo Valley High School achieved AYP status each school year.

PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[45] In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade.

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 79% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[46]
  • 2011 - 52% (9% below basic). State - 69.1% [47]
  • 2010 - 79%, State - 67%
  • 2009 - 60%, State - 65%[48]
  • 2008 - 56%, State - 65% [49]
  • 2007 - 72%, State - 65% [50]
  • 2006 - 58%, State - 65%
  • 2005 - 67%, State - 65% [51]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 72% on grade level (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[52]
  • 2011 - 58% (12% below basic). State - 60.3% [53]
  • 2010 - 81%, State - 59%[54]
  • 2009 - 65%, State - 56%[55]
  • 2008 - 49%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 72%, State - 53%[56]
  • 2006 - 47%, State - 52%[57]
  • 2005 - 57%, State - 51%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 80% on grade level (3% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[58]
  • 2011 - 33% (3% below basic). State - 40%[59]
  • 2010 - 66%, State - 39%[60]
  • 2009 - 31%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 31%, State - 39%

Science in Motion High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[61] University of Pittsburgh at Bradford provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 44% of the Pennsylvania 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.[62] In Potter County, 20% of high school graduates required remediation in college. 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.[63] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment The high school does not offer the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. The program is offered through over 400 school districts with the assistance of a state grant.

AP courses Oswayo Valley High School does not offer Advanced Placement courses.

Graduation requirements[edit]

Among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, graduation requirements widely vary. The Oswayo Valley School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 27 credits (or met the conditions and requirements of their Individual Education Plan IEP) to graduate, including: a required classed in math, English, social studies, and science each school year, as well as Physical Education 2.4 credits and electives.[64]

Eligible veterans who left high school prior to graduation to serve in World War II or the Korean War, may be granted a high school diploma if the veteran meets the applicable requirements of law and completes the required application to the school board.

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.[65] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[66]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[67][68][69] For the class of 2019, a composition exam will be added. For the class of 2020, passing a civics and government exam will be added to the graduation requirements.[70] 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.[71] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Oswayo Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 463. The Math average score was 484. The Writing average score was 418.[72][73] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[74]

In 2013, 20 Oswayo Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 500. The Math average score was 501. The Writing average score was 469. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nation-wide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[75]

In 2012, 15 Oswayo Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 444. The Math average score was 481. The Writing average score was 418. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 29 Oswayo Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 486. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 461.[76] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[77] 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.[78]

Middle school[edit]

Oswayo Valley Middle School is located at 318 South Oswayo Street, Shinglehouse. In 2014, enrollment was 108 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 53% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 18% of pupils received special education services, while 3.7% of pupils were identified as gifted.[79] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[80]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 119 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 57 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 9 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1. The school is a federally designated Title I school.[81] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of Oswayo Valley Middle School's teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[82] The district reports a 95% attendance rate for the 2008-09 school year at the middle school.

2014 School Performance Profile

Oswayo Valley Middle School achieved 79.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 75% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 77% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 76% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 81% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[83]

2013 School Performance Profile

Oswayo Valley Middle School achieved 88.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 75% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 87.5% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 84% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 76.9% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[84] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.

AYP History

In 2011 and 2012, Oswayo Valley Middle School achieved AYP status.[85] Oswayo Valley Middle School achieved AYP status each school year, from 2003 to 2010.

PSSA Results

In the Spring of each school year, sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[86] Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[87] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[88] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[89]

8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 73% on grade level (3% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 73% (2% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 73%, State - 57%
  • 2009 - 70%. State - 54%
  • 2008 - 63%, State - 52%

Elementary School[edit]

Oswayo Valley Elementary School is located at 277 Oswayo Street, Shinglehouse. In 2014, Oswayo Valley Elementary School's enrollment was 195 pupils in grades preschool through 5th, with 56.9% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 18% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[97] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[98] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Oswayo Valley Elementary School reported an enrollment of 223 pupils in preschool and full-day kindergarten through 5th grade, with 125 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 17 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[99] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[100]

2014 School Performance Profile

Oswayo Valley Elementary School achieved a score of 80 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, just 67% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 81.7% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 84% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 69% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[101]

2013 School Performance Profile

Oswayo Valley Elementary School achieved a score of out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 67.9% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 71% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 74% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 84% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 57% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[102]

AYP history

In 2012, Oswayo Valley Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in critical reading skills. In 2011, Oswayo Valley Elementary School achieved AYP status.[103]

  • 2005 through 2010 - achieved AYP status each year
  • 2004 - Making Progress School Improvement I AYP status
  • 2003 - School Improvement status due to low student academic achievement.
PSSA Results

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[104] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[105][106][107] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[108]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 84%, (3% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 97% (3% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 87%, State - 81%
  • 2009 - 84%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 83%, State - 81%
PreK Counts Preschool

Oswayo Valley School District offers a preschool program with the intent to have every 4 year old attend at the taxpayer's expense regardless of their ability to pay.[114][115][116] The program has been in place 1988.[117]

Special education[edit]

In December 2012, Oswayo Valley School District administration reported that 85 pupils or 16.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 48% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[118]

In December 2010, the Oswayo Valley School District administration reported that 87 pupils or 16.2% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 47% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[119] In December 2009, the District administration reported that 85 pupils or 16% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with % of the identified students having a specific learning disability. Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-11 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[120] The largest group of stduents are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent).

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[121] The District has offered full day Kindergarten since 2005. The district also has provided preschool. since 2008. Oswayo Valley School District has not seen a decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

Oswayo Valley School District provides a wide variety of services to children with special needs. In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress .[122] Some of the services are provided through the region's Intermediate Unit. Children age three through the age of admission to first grade are also eligible if they have developmental delays and, as a result, need Special Education and related services.[123]

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.[124] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. 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.[125] Over identification 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.[126] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[127] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[128]

Oswayo Valley School District received a $338,650 supplement for special education services in 2010.[129] For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2913-14 school years, 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.[130][131] For the 2014-2015 school year, OVSD received an increase to $345,065 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[132]

Gifted education[edit]

Oswayo Valley School District Administration reported that 9 or 1.71% 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.[133] 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.[134][135]

Wellness policy[edit]

Oswayo Valley School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[136] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 – 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[137] e

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[138] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval. The District offers a free oral screening, sealants and dental education program for children ages 7–15.

The District provides a free school breakfast to low-income children each school day, as well as the National School Lunch Program which provides a free and reduced price school lunch. Both programs are funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[139] Any child at a participating school may purchase a meal through the National School Lunch Program. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students. The District receives a per meal served reimbursement from the USDA: $2.86 for each free lunch and $2.46 for each reduced-price lunch. When the District's meals comply with the nutrition mandates from the Healthy, Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the District is given an additional 6 cents for meal served.[140]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[141] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch.[142] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93.

In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[143] The Food and Drug Administration requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[144][145]

Oswayo Valley School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available the building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[146][147] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[148]

The District participated in Highmark Foundation’s Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools grant which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[149] Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued in 2013.[150]

Budget[edit]

Pennsylvania public school districts budget and expend funds according to procedures mandated by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). An annual operating budget is prepared by school district administrative officials. A uniform form is furnished by the PDE and submitted to the board of school directors for approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1.

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[151]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Oswayo Valley School District was $53,482 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $17,057 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $70,539.[152] Oswayo Valley School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[153] After 40 years of service, a teacher can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. 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.[154]

In 2011, Oswayo Valley School District employed 45 teachers and administrators. The average teacher salary was $50,440.40 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $12,866.86 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $63,307.26. The highest salary was $100,026.[155]

In 2009, Oswayo Valley School District reported employing 50 teachers and administrators with an average salary of $50,841 and a top salary of $95,206.[156] The teacher’s work day is 7 hours 30 minutes with a 30-minute duty-free lunch included and a daily preparation period. There are 185 days in the contract year with 180 student days. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits. Teachers receive additional compensation for duties outside of the classroom and all extracurriculars. The district pays a $25,000 cash bonus, early retirement benefit to employees with 25 to 30 years of service. Plus, retiring teachers are paid for each unused sick day.[157]

In 2007, Oswayo Valley School District employed 38 teachers who earned an average salary of $42,929 for 180 days worked.[158] In 2010 the median teacher salary in Pennsylvania is $60,000.[159]

Administrative costs Oswayo Valley School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 were very high at $1,153 per pupil. The district is ranked 28th among Pennsylvania's 500 districts for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[160] In 2012, Oswayo Valley School District awarded a three year contract to Dr. Frank McClard as superintendent, despite the controversy in his former position at Lakeview School District.[161]

Per pupil spending In 2008, Oswayo Valley School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $22,315 which ranked 5th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010 the per pupil spending declined to $14,406, which ranked 172nd in the Commonwealth.[162] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[163] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[164] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[165]

Reserves In 2008, Oswayo Valley School District reported a balance of $457.00 in its unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $1,822,974.[166] In 2010, Oswayo Valley School District Administration reported to the PDE, an increase to $1,896,712 in its unreserved-undesignated fund balance. Oswayo Valley School District also reported $384,789 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. 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.[167] By 2013, OVSD had amassed a reserve of $2,618,701.

Tuition Students who live in the District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Oswayo Valley School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the Oswayo Valley School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $9,532.65, High School - $10,297.46.[168]

State Audits In January 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of Oswayo Valley School District. Multiple serious findings were noted, including a board member violating the state ethics act.[169] In 2014, the District was audited again. No misconduct by school board members was noted in the report.[170]

Oswayo Valley School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned 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 the of individual's wealth.[171]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Oswayo Valley School District receives 66% of its annual revenue from the state.[172]

For the 2014-15 school year, Oswayo Valley School District received $3,492,692 in State Basic Education funding. The District also received $88,247 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[173] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[174]

In the 2013-2014 school year, Oswayo Valley School District received a 1.1% increase or $$3,493,734 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $36,772 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Oswayo Valley School District received $52,008 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Potter County, Austin Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 22.5%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[175] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[176] As a part of the education budget, the state provided the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[177]

For the 2012-13 school year, Oswayo Valley School District received $3,508,970.[178] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block grant program. Oswayo Valley School District received $52,008. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[179]

In 2011-12 school year, Oswayo Valley School District received a $3,456,962 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[180][181] Additionally, Oswayo Valley School District received $52,008 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 was a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[182] 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.[183] In 2010, the district reported that 253 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[184]

In the 2010-11 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.47% increase in Basic Education Funding to Oswayo Valley School District, for a total of $3,649,138 . Among the districts in Potter County, the highest increase went to Coudersport Area School District which got a 5.50% 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.[185] 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 when 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.[186]

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $4,203,758 to Oswayo Valley School District. Among the public school districts in Potter County, the highest increase went to Coudersport Area School District which got a 2.60%. Ninety school Pennsylvania public school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[187] 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.[188] 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.[189][190] The state Basic Education Funding to the Oswayo Valley School District, for 2008-09, was $4,121,331.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 245 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[191]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through several other funding allocations, including Reimbursement of Charter School Expenditures; Special Education Funding; Secondary Career & Technical Education Subsidy; PA Accountability Grants; and low achieving schools were eligible for Educational Assistance Program Funding. Plus all Pennsylvania school districts receive federal dollars for various programs including: Special Education funding and Title I funding for children from low income families. In 2010, Pennsylvania spent over $24 billion for public education - local, state and federal dollars combined.[192]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-05, 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, Oswayo Valley School District applied for and received $141,164 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for 31 students, for the fifth year.[193][194]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[195]

Oswayo Valley School District will receive $88,247 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, PreK Counts funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

Oswayo Valley School District is participating in a collaborative environmental education program called "Project Wet". Funding is from a federal grant. It will fund teacher preparation and be used to purchase water montoring equipment for the students to use in a hands on science curriculum[196]

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. Oswayo Valley School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. The district received $41,311 in 2007-08 and $45,413 in 2008-09 for a total of $86,724 in state funding.[197] Among Potter County public school districts, the highest funding award was given to Coudersport 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, by Governor Edward G. Rendell, due to a massive state financial crisis.

Science It’s Elementary grant[edit]

Oswayo Valley Elementary School and Oswayo Valley Middle School successfully applied to participate and received a Science It’s Elementary grant in 2008-09. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 2,847 teachers and 66,973 students across Pennsylvania.[198] In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program is a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[199] To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training.[200] Oswayo Valley School District was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. They had to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated. The 2006-07 State Education Budget provided $635 million in new spending for pre-K through 12th grades for the 2006-07 school year. This marks an 8-percent increase over 2005-06 public school funding.[201] The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget. The grant was discontinued in 2010 by Governor Rendell due to a massive state budget.

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 Oswayo Valley School District received $39,113.[202]

Other grants[edit]

The District did not participate in the 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[203] 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[204] Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the 21st Century learning grants.

Federal Stimulus[edit]

Oswayo Valley School District received grants totaling $647,934 of ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[205][206] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[207] 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.

Oswayo Valley School District reported that 38% of students are eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch which is provided to children of families living in poverty.[208]

Race to the Top Grant[edit]

Oswayo Valley School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[209] 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.[210] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of the majority of public school districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[211][212][213]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

Oswayo Valley School Board elected to not 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.[214] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2014-2015 were set by the Oswayo Valley School board at 12.5818 mills in McKean County and 45.5447 mills in Potter County.[215] 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. 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.[216] The Oswayo Valley 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.[217] 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.[218]

  • 2013-14 - 12.8920 mills in McKean County and 44.1720 mills in Potter County
  • 2012-13 - 12.8920 mills in McKean County and 43.4278 mills in Potter County[219]
  • 2011-12 - 13.6073 mills in McKean County and 42.3397 mills in Potter County [220]
  • 2010-11 - 13.5211 mills in McKean County and 41.3675 mills in Potter County[221]
  • 2009-10 - 14.0500 mills in McKean County and 39.5100 mills in Potter County [222]
  • 2008-09 - 15.1800 mills in McKean County and 41.9200 mills in Potter County [223]
  • 2007-08 - 15.3200 mills in McKean County and 39.5200 mills in Potter County [224]
  • 2006-07 - 15.3300 mills in McKean County and 39.6000 mills in Potter County [225]
  • 2005-06 - 14.8000 mills in McKean County and 37.4700 mills in Potter County [226]

According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[227] The average yearly property tax paid by Potter County residents amounts to about 2.95% of their yearly income. Potter County is ranked 624th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[228]

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 allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[229] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[230] 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.[231][232]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Oswayo Valley School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[233]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Oswayo Valley School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[239] For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[240]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Oswayo Valley School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[241]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Oswayo Valley 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.[242]

For the 2011-12 school year, Oswayo Valley School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Oswayo Valley 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.[243]

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.[244]

For the 2010-11 school year, Oswayo Valley School Board did not apply for exceptions to the Act 1 index.[245] 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.[246]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Oswayo Valley School District was $170 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 790 property owners applied for the tax relief.[247] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on buildings used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must include the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In 2009, 68% of McKean County property owners applied for the property tax relief. In Potter County 79% applied for relief.[248]

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%).[249]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[250] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[251]

Enrollment[edit]

Oswayo Valley School District is among the lowest enrollment districts in the Commonwealth. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Pupil enrollment in the Oswayo Valley School District has been steadily declining. Pennsylvania Department of Education projects it will to continue to decline to 445 students total enrollment Pre K to 12th grade.[252] In 2008, Oswayo Valley School District administrative costs were in the top 10% in the Commonwealth at $1,153 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[253] According to a 2009 school district administration consolidation proposal by Governor Edward Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging academic achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to reduce local property taxes.[254]

With limited resources, opportunities for students are limited. In a Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee study on school consolidation, 63% of the superintendents that responded expressed agreement that consolidation with another district could help them provide additional academic enrichment opportunities for their students.[255] The study found that consolidation of administration services with adjacent school districts would achieve substantial cost savings for people in all the impacted communities. In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.[256]

Over the last 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment has decreased by 8 percent.[257] In 2010, there were 726,417 children in rural Pennsylvania, or 21 percent of the total rural population. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children in rural counties decreased 7 percent. The decline in the number of children impacted most rural counties with 42 of Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties experiencing a decline. Cameron County, Elk County and Sullivan County experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of more than 21 percent in all three counties. Potter County's live birth rate in 1990 was 242 births. In 2000, the Potter County live birth rate was 223, while in 2011 it had declined to 201 babies.[258] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[259] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[260]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility to participate is set by school board Extracurricular 122 Policy and interscholastic Athletics 123 Policy.[261]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[262][263]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[264][265][266]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[267] Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[268]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[269][270]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [271]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alex Davis (January 13, 2015). "Oswayo Valley superintendent McClard stepping down from post". The Bradford Era. 
  2. ^ NCES, Common Core of Data - Oswayo Valley School District, 2015
  3. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data Oswayo Valley School District, 2011
  4. ^ NCES, Common Core of Data 2012, 2012
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA, 2010
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA 2006-2020, July 2011
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections for Oswayo Valley School District, January 2009
  8. ^ Oswayo Valley School Board Secretary, Oswayo Valley School District Budget 2011-12, June 27, 2011
  9. ^ proximityone (2014). "School District Comparative Analysis Profiles". 
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Education Facts Student Poverty Concentration by LEA, 2012
  11. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 2009
  12. ^ US Census Bureau (2014). "Pennsylvania Median household income, 2006-2010 by County". 
  13. ^ US Census Bureau (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". 
  14. ^ US Census Bureau (September 2011). "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010" (PDF). 
  15. ^ Standard and Poors, SchoolMatters.com. Retrieved April 2010.
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External links[edit]