Troy Area School District

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Troy Area School District
Map of Bradford County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
310 Elmira Street
Troy, Pennsylvania, Bradford County, 16947-0067
United States
Information
Closed Mosherville Elementary School and Troy Elementary School East 2011
School district Troy Area School District
Superintendent W. Charles Young (salary $117,587 in 2012)[1]
Grades K-12
Pupils 1564 pupils (2009-10)[2]
Kindergarten 123
Grade 1 114
Grade 2 108
Grade 3 125
Grade 4 102
Grade 5 123
Grade 6 101
Grade 7 114
Grade 8 126
Grade 9 119
Grade 10 148
Grade 11 137
Grade 12 124
Other enrollment projected to be 1800 in 2020.[3]
Mascot Trojans
Newspaper Trojan Crier
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,416.07, HS - $8,647.70[4]
Other per pupils spending
$11,939 in 2008 per pupils spending
Website

Troy Area School District is a small, rural, public school district located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. It covers the boroughs of Troy, Burlington, Sylvania and Alba and Wells Township, South Creek Township, Columbia Township, Springfield Township, Armenia Township, Troy Township, West Burlington Township, Burlington Township and Granville Township in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Troy Area School District encompasses approximately 275 square miles (710 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 10,410. In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $15,806 while the median family income was $39,780.[5] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[6] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[7] According to District officials, in school year 2007-08, the Troy Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,659 pupils. It employed: 128 teachers, 77 full-time and part-time support personnel and 11 administrators. Troy Area School District received more than $12.9 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. By 2012, Troy Area School District enrollment had declined to 1,488 pupils.

In 2012, Troy Area School District operates Troy Area Junior Senior High School (7th–12th grades), Troy Intermediate School (3rd–6th grades) and WR Croman Elementary School (kindergarten-2nd grade). Formerly the district operated three elementary schools (K-4th), one middle school (5th-8th), and one senior high school, grades 9-12. Mosherville Elementary School and Troy Elementary School East were closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year. The rest of the schools were realigned. The 7th and 8th grade were added to the high school creating a junior senior high school. The school alignment changes were adopted to deal with a $2.3 million budget shortfall.[8][9]

Governance[edit]

Trot Area School District is governed by nine individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[10] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "D-" 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.[11]

Academic achievement[edit]

Troy Area School District was ranked 307th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2012.[12] The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing math and science.[13] The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

  • 2011 - 286th[14]
  • 2010 - 300th[15]
  • 2009 - 343rd
  • 2008 - 389th
  • 2007 - 395th out of 501 school districts.[16]

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Troy Area School District ranked 260th. In 2011, the district was 104th.[17] The editor describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[18]

In 2010 and 2011, Troy Area School District achieved AYP status under the No Child Left Behind Act even though achievement continued to decline at the high school which was placed in School Improvement.[19] In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania Public School Districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2011, the graduation rate was 90%.[20] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Troy Area Senior High School's rate was 82% for 2010.[21]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school[edit]

Troy Area Junior Senior High School is located at 150 High Street, Troy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 578 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 227 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 41 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[26] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[27]

In 2011, Troy Area Junior Senior High School declined to School Improvement I status due to continuing low student achievement in reading and mathematics, compounded by a sharp decline in 2011.[28] Under No Child Left Behind, the school was required to notify parents of the low achievement at the school and to offer them the opportunity to transfer their child to a successful school in the district. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) required the school's administration to develop a plan to improve student achievement in reading and mathematics. The plan was submitted to the PDE for approval. In 2010, Troy Area Senior High School was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.

11th Grade Reading

  • 2011 - 57% on grade level, (23% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[29]
  • 2010 - 61% (20% below basic). State - 66%[30]
  • 2009 - 60% (23% below basic). State - 65%[31]
  • 2008 - 56% (23% below basic). State - 65%[32]
  • 2007 - 59% (24% below basic). State - 65%[33]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2011 - 61% on grade level (17% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[34]
  • 2010 - 72% (11% below basic). State - 59%[35]
  • 2009 - 55% (22% below basic). State - 56%.[36]
  • 2008 - 49% (21% below basic). State - 56%[37]
  • 2007 - 43% (31% below basic). State - 53%[38]

11th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 31% on grade level (18% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[39]
  • 2010 - 36% (16% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 32% (13% below basic). State - 40%[40]
  • 2008 - 34% (24% below basic). State - 39%[41]

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 5% of the Troy Area Senior 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.[42] 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.[43] 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, 67 Troy Area students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 483. The Math average score was 500. The Writing average score was 445.[44] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[45] 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.[46]

Eighth grade[edit]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 66% on grade level (15% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 48% (18% below basic). State – 57%[47]
  • 2009 - 50% (23% below basic). State - 55%[48]
  • 2008 - 51% (25% below basic). State - 52%[49]
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.

Seventh grade[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

In 2010, the district operated 3 elementary schools. It realigned to two buildingw in 2011, due to significantly declining enrollment and a massive budget shortfall. The Board established Troy Intermediate School at 206 King Street, Troy (3rd through 6th) and W.R. Croman Primary School (kindergarten through 2nd grade. The district hosts an after-school child care program operated by Bradford County YMCA for children kindergarten through age 12 years. Both schools use the Everyday Math program for math instruction. Special education services and Title I reading services are available to students.

PSSA Results
4th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 86%, (6% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 82%, (8% below basic), State - 81%

Tech and career education[edit]

Students attending Troy Area School District have access to the Northern Tier Career Center which is located in Towanda, Pennsylvania. The school provides vocational-technical education to the youth and resident adults of Bradford County and the Northern Tier. Its programs include: Cosmetology, Auto Mechanic, Autobody Repair, health assisting, food service and more.

Special education[edit]

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 252 pupils or 16% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 52% of identified students having specific learning disability.[50]

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.[51] 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.[52] The state requires each district to have a three year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[53] 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.[54]

Troy Area School District received a $1,053,001 supplement for special education services in 2010.[55] For the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[56][57]

In 2009, Troy Area School District was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Least Restrictive Environment monitoring. One hundred ninety six schools districts were selected in 2008-09. The district received an alert letter from the PDE - Bureau of Special Education.[58] School districts were placed in one of three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. The district was placed in Tier 3 due to students spending more than 80% of the school day, inside of regular education. The monitoring is a product of the PDE addressing its voluntary settlement in Gaskin V. Pennsylvania which ordered that special education students spend most of their school day (80%) in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services to assist funded by the taxpayers.[59][60][61] In 2010, the district was assigned to the Tier 3 monitoring list, due to students spending less than 40% of their day in a regular education classroom. The district received a letter of “Warning” letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[62]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that less than 10 of its students were gifted in 2009.[63] 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.[64][65]

Online grade access[edit]

Troy area School District provides an online system for parents and students to have access to assignments and grades. Parents must register with the district to get an access code.

Cyber Academy[edit]

The district offers students a cyber school experience under an umbrella program run through Blended Schools. High school students have access to the system.

Teacher evaluation pilot[edit]

In 2011, Troy Area School District agreed to participate in a pilot program to develop a new way to evaluate teachers that, in part, takes into account student achievement. It was the sole Bradford County school districts that participated.[66] The pilot program had 104 K-12 entities, including: nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units. Beginning in January 2012, participating school districts will use the new evaluation method and provide feedback to the Department of Education. This new evaluation will not be used to determine an educator’s official 2011-12 assessment. Under the new evaluation system, 50% of the evaluation of a teacher will be based on an observation divided into four categories: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. The other half will be based on student achievement (15 percent will be building-level data, 15 percent will be teacher-specific data, and 20 percent will be elective). The new evaluation system has both announced and unannounced observations. There are meetings between the teacher and evaluator before and after the direct observation of a lesson.[67]

Budget[edit]

Troy Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $698.10 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[68] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[69]

In 2008 the district administration reported that per pupil spending was $11,939 which ranked 279th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010 the per pupil spending had increased to $[70] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[71] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[72] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year year 2000-01.[73]

Reserves In 2008, the district reported a balance of $3,198,670 in an unreserved-undesignated fund. The unreserved-designated fund balance was reported as zero.[74] In 2010, Troy Area Administration reported an increase to $4,462,419.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. Pennsylvania school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[75]

In 2009, the district reported employing 189 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $53,924 and a top salary of $98,791.[76] The teachers work a 7-hour, 30-minute day with a 30-minute duty-free lunch and a daily preparation period. The work year is 186 days (180 pupil instruction) in the contract year. Special education certified teachers receive an additional $200 a year. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance (employee contributes $82 per pay/ retirees pay nothing), professional development reimbursement, 1–3 paid personal days based on longevity, 10 paid sick days, 2 paid bereavement days and other benefits. New employees who worked for another Pennsylvania public school district may transfer their accumulated, unused sick days to Troy Area School District where they accumulate until retirement. Teachers are paid for unused sick days upon retirement.[77][78] In 2011, the average teacher salary in TASD was $56,619.97 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $15,871.72 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $72,491.69.[79] 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.[80]

In January 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the District. The findings were reported to the School Board and the District’s administration.[81]

The district is funded by a combination of: an Occupation tax levy of 160 mils which is $160.00 for $100 of assessed valuation, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, a Per Capita (Act 511) tax levy of $5.00, another Per Capita (Section 679) tax levy of $5.00, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[82] Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the district. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[83]

State basic education funding[edit]

For the 2012-13 school year, the district will receive $8,920,849.[84] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 includes $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which is an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. The state also provides $100 million for the Accountability Block grant. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[85] This amount is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In 2011-12, Troy Area School District received a $8,771,698 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[86][87] Additionally, Troy Area School District received $149,151 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[88] 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.[89] In 2010, the district reported that 716 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[90]

In the 2010-2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 3.81% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $9,449,819 to Troy Area School District. Among the districts in Bradford County, the highest increase went to Towanda Area School District which got a 6.36% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[91] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 6% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $9,103,228. Among the districts in Bradford County, the highest increase went to Towanda Area School District which got an 8.43%. The state Basic Education Funding to Troy Area School District in 2008-09 was $8,771,697.82. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[92] 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.[93] 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.[94][95]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 699 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[96]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, the district applied for and received $404,833 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for 110 children, increased instructional and to pay teachers to develop new curriculum and course offerings.[97][98]

In 2011-12 and 2012 13 the District received $149,151.[99]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. The School District received $199,423 in 2006-07, In 2007-08 the district received $250,000. The district did not participate in 2008-09.[100] In Bradford County the highest award was given to Troy Area School District. The highest funding state wide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

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 Troy Area School District received $40,110.[101]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $3,030,636 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[102][103] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[104] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Troy Area School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one half million dollars in additional federal funding to improve 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. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[106] 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.[107][108][109]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2011-12 were set by the school board at 33.1300 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region.[110] 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.[111] When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[112] 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.[113]

  • 2010-11 - 30.2200 mills[114]
  • 2009-10 - 30.2200 mills.[115]
  • 2008-09 - 30.2200 mills.[116]
  • 2007-08 - 29.3099 mills.[117]
  • 2006-07 - 27.5800 mills.[118]

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.[119] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[120] 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.[121][122]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Troy Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[123]

  • 2006-07 - 5.8%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 5.1%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.5%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 6.1%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 4.3%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.5%, Base 1.7%[124]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Troy Area School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index due to teacher pension costs. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[125]

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

Troy Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[128] For 2009-10 school budget, the board also did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index.[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 2012, Troy Area School District's 2,618 approved homestead residents received $130 each.[131] In 2010, property tax relief for 2,635 approved residents of Troy Area School District was set at $129.[132] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Troy Area School District was also $130 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2622 property owners applied for the tax relief. In Bradford County, the highest tax relief went to Sayre Area School District which was set at $347.[133] The highest property tax relief, among Pennsylvania school districts, went to the homesteads of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County which received $632 per approved homestead in 2010. Chester-Upland School District has consistently been the top recipient since the programs inception.[134] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption.[135]

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 people who have an income of substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This tax rebate can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief. In 2012, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Treasury reported issuing more than half a million property tax rebates totaling $238 million.[136] The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Property tax rebates are increased by an additional 50 percent for senior households in the state, so long as those households have incomes under $30,000 and pay more than 15% of their income in property taxes.[137]

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%).[138]

Extracurriculars[edit]

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

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[139]

Clubs[edit]

Robotics, National Honor Society AV Senior High School Student High Schools JHS, HS FBLA German American Partnership Program

Sports[edit]

Football HS, JHS, ES Basketball (Boys and Girls) HS, JHS, ES Volleyyball HS, JHS, ES Wrestling HS, JHS, ES Cross Country Track Track and Field Soccer Boys and Girls Cheerleading Baseball Softball

The district also pays teachers to run an extensive intramural program for the elementary students

References[edit]

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