Uniontown Area School District

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Uniontown Area School District
Map of Fayette County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
23 East Church Street
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Fayette, 15401
United States
Information
Superintendent Dr. Charles D. Machesky
Specialist Dr Annette Conti, Director of Special Education
Administrator Sonya Over, Business Manager
Grades K-12
Enrollment 2948 (2009–2010)
Kindergarten 229
Grade 1 243
Grade 2 222
Grade 3 222
Grade 4 216
Grade 5 245
Grade 6 203
Grade 7 228
Grade 8 237
Grade 9 241
Grade 10 219
Grade 11 218
Grade 12 225
Other Enrollment declining to 2595 in 2019[1]
Color(s) Maroon and White
Mascot Red Raiders
Website

Uniontown Area School District is a highly fragmented midsized, rural public school district located in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. It serves the city of Uniontown and the boroughs of Ohiopyle, and Markleysburg. It also serves Wharton, Henry Clay, Menallen, Franklin, and Stewart townships. The district encompasses approximately 250 square miles. Based on 2000 federal census data, the district serves a resident population of 26,925. In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $14,621, while the median family income was $33,750.[2] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[3] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[4] Per School District officials, in school year 2005–06 the Uniontown Area School District provided basic educational services to 3,418 pupils. It employed: 262 teachers, 158 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 15 administrators.

Governance[edit]

The school district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[5] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring on grade level reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[6]

Schools[edit]

School Name Grade Level Principal
A.J. McMullen Middle School Grades 6–8 Mr. Joseph Galie
Ben Franklin School Grades K-8 Head: Ms. Becca Maddas
Franklin School Grades K-6 Dr. Annette Conti
Lafayette School Grades K-8 Elementary: Ms. Renee Pramuk
Middle:
Marclay School Grades K-5 Mr. Joseph Galie
Menallen School Grades K-6 Mrs. Paula Work
Wharton School Grades K-6 Mr. Joseph Galie
Uniontown Area High School Grades 9–12 Co-principals: Heather Sefcheck and Robert Manges

Academic achievement[edit]

Uniontown Area School District was ranked 82nd out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts in 2009 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for: math, reading, writing and one year of science.[7] In 2008 the school ranked 82nd.

The Uniontown Area School District was ranked 374th out of 498 Pennsylvania public school districts in 2010. The ranking is based on student academic achievement for five years on the PSSAs for: reading, mathematics, writing and three years of science by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[8]

  • 2010 - 387th[9]
  • 2009 – 386th
  • 2008 – 393rd
  • 2007 – 419th of 500 school districts[10]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Uniontown Area School District, was in the 17th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0–99; 100 is state best)[11]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2011, the graduation rate was 92%.[12] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Uniontown Area Senior High School's rate was 69.97% for 2010.[13]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 – 87%[14]
  • 2009 – 88%[15]
  • 2008 – 91%
  • 2007 – 91%[16]

High school[edit]

In 2011, the Uniontown Area Senior High School declined to School Improvement I status due to low student achievement in both reading and math.[17] In 2010, the Uniontown Area Senior High School was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[18]

The Uniontown Area Senior High School ranked 66th out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2009, for academic achievement as reflected by three years of 11th grade results on: math, reading, writing and one year of science PSSAs.[19] In 2009 the high school ranked 67th of 123 high schools in the region.[20]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 58% on grade level, (25% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[21]
  • 2010 – 67% (17% Below basic). State - 66%[22]
  • 2009 – 70% (17% below basic). State – 65%
  • 2008 – 64%, State – 65%
11th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 53% on grade level (28% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2010 – 62% (23% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 – 61% (23% below basic). State – 56%[23]
  • 2008 – 54%, State – 56%
11th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 37% on grade level (21% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[24]
  • 2010 – 43% (18% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 – 36% (19% below basic). State – 40%
  • 2008 – 33%, State – 39%

College remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 40% of Uniontown Area School District 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.[25] 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.[26] 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]

In 2010-2011, 135 students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 470. The Math average score was 483. The Writing average score was 442.[27] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among state with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[28] 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.[29]

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits.[30] Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[31] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[32] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[33] For the 2009–10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $13,409 for the program.[34]

Graduation requirements[edit]

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.[35]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 2015 and 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[36]

Middle schools[edit]

Eighth grades in the Pittsburgh region were ranked in 2009. A total of 141 western Pennsylvania middle schools were ranked by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing and science.[37]

  • Lafayette Middle School – 132nd
  • Ben Franklin School 8th grade – 92nd
  • A.J. McMullen School Middle School – 60th

Lafayette Middle School[edit]

In 2011, the school declined once again to School Improvement I due to a declining student attendance rate - 86%.[38] In 2010, the school was in Making Progress: School Improvement level under No Child Left Behind. In 2009, the school is in School Improvement I AYP status due to chronic, poor student achievement.[39] The Pennsylvania Department of Education identified the middle school as chronically low achieving in its application for School Improvement Grant funding, in 2010. The middle school was also identified as a low performing school due to lagging student achievement in 2007–2009.[40][41] According to No Child Left Behind, Lafayette Middle School must offer students the choice to transfer to A J McMullen Middle School. In 2010. 18 students transferred to the hirer achieving school.[42]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 57% on grade level (23% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81.8% of 8th graders on grade level.[43]
  • 2010 – 71% (15% below basic). State – 81%
  • 2009 – 54% (22% below basic). State – 80.9%[44]
  • 2008 – 54%, State – 78%
8th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 57% on grade level (28% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 76.9%
  • 2010 – 70% (9% below basic). State – 75%
  • 2009 – 58% (17% below basic). State – 71%
  • 2008 – 40%, State – 70%
8th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 36% on grade level (42% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 32% (47% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 – 14% (48% below basic). State – 55%
  • 2008 – 25%, State – 50%

Ben Franklin School[edit]

In 2010 and 2011, Ben Franklin School achieved AYP.[45] The attendance rate was 92% in both 2010 and 2011.[46] In July 2011, the school was identified, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, for investigation for PSSA testing misconduct. The investigation identified an unusually high number of wrong answers being changed to correct answers.[47][48]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 79% on grade level (7% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81.8% of 8th graders on grade level.[49]
  • 2010 – 75% (14% below basic). State – 81%[50]
  • 2009 – 74%, State – 80.9%[51]
  • 2008 – 68%, State – 78%
8th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 76% on grade level (17% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 76.9% of 8th graders are on grade level.
  • 2010 – 54% (24% below basic). State – 71%
  • 2009 – 75% (17% below basic). State – 71%[52]
  • 2008 – 65%, State −70%
8th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 52% on grade level (23% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 51% (25% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 – 43%, State – 55%
  • 2008 – 58%, State – 50%

A.J. McMullen School Middle School[edit]

In 2011 and 2010 the school achieved AYP status.[53] The attendance rate was 94% in 2011, while in 2010 the rate was 93%.[54] In 2011, the males on grade level reading was 69%, which trailed the females at 81% on grade level.[55]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 81% on grade level (4% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81.8% of 8th graders on grade level.
  • 2010 – 85% (7% below basic). State – 82% of 8th graders were on grade level.[56]
  • 2009 – 87% (5% below basic). State – 80.9%[57]
  • 2008 – 84%, State – 78%
8th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 84% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 – 91% (0% below basic). State – 75%
  • 2009 – 84% (3% below basic). State – 71%
  • 2008 – 81%, State −70%
8th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 54% on grade level (16% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 72% (11% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 – 66%, State – 55%
  • 2008 – 54%, State – 50%

Fifth Grades[edit]

5th Grade achievement ranking

  • Lafayette Elementary School was ranked 290th out of 291 Western Pennsylvania 5th grades for academic achievement in reading, math and writing.[58]
  • Marclay Elementary School was ranked 23rd.
  • Ben Franklin School was ranked 187th.
  • Franklin School was ranked 122nd.
  • Warton School was ranked 62nd.
  • Menallen School was ranked 179th.

Third Grade[edit]

3rd Grade achievement ranking

  • Lafayette Elementary School was ranked 323rd out of 327 Western Pennsylvania 3rd grades for academic achievement in reading, math and writing.[59]
  • Marclay Elementary School was ranked 75th.
  • Ben Franklin School was ranked 197th.
  • Franklin School was ranked 212th.
  • Warton School was ranked 222nd.
  • Menallen School was ranked 247th.

Special education[edit]

In December 2009, the district administration reported that 468 pupils or 15.4% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[60]

The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team.[61] When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Supervisor of Special Education.[62]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[63]

Uniontown Area School District received a $2,103,271 supplement for special education services in 2010.[64] For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[65]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 61 students (1.99% of students) were gifted in 2009.[66] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to a dual enrollment program with local colleges. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[67]

Budget[edit]

In 2007, the average teacher salary in the district was $43,555 for 180 days worked.[68] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[69] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, sick days, and other benefits.[70] According to Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the state teacher retirement fund, a 40-year Pennsylvania public school educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[71]

Uniontown Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 were $658.24 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[72]

In 2008, Uniontown Area School District reported spending $11,758 per pupil. This ranked 300th among the 500 public school districts the Commonwealth.[73] In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $$13,266.68 which ranked 237th in the Commonwealth.[74]

Reserves – In 2008, the district reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $1,602,842.00.[75]

In December 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Findings were reported to the administration and school board. The district was cited for multiple teacehr certification irregularities.[76]

The district is funded by the following taxes: property tax, a local earned income tax and a real estate transfer tax coupled with state and federal funding. In Pennsylvania, pension income and social security income are exempt from state income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the individual's wealth.[77]

State basic education funding[edit]

In 2011-12, the Uniontown Area School district received a $14,697,380 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[78][79] Additionally, the School District received $236,961 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[80] 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.[81] In 2010, the district reported that 1,888 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[82]

For 2010–11, Uniontown Area School District received a 2.75% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $15,586,043 payment.[83] The highest increase in BEF in Fayette County was awarded to Laurel Highlands School District a 6.29% increase. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010–11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010–11. Fifteen districts received an increase of over 10%. The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[84]

In 2009–2010, Uniontown Area School District received an 3.21% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $15,169,296. The highest increase in Fayette County went to Connellsville Area School District with a 4.03% increase. In Pennsylvania, over 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. Ninety school districts were given the base 2% increase. The state's Basic Education Funding to the Uniontown Area School District in 2008–09 was $14,697,380.14.[85] The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[86]

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 Uniontown Area School District applied for and received $643,171 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 7th year and to increase instructional time for struggling students during the school day.[87][88]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006 to 2009. Uniontown Area School District was denied funding in 2006–07. In 2007–08 it did not apply. For the 2008–09 school year, the district received $188,223. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.[89]

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 Uniontown Area School District received $73,543.[90]

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

The district received $3,597,197 in Federal Stimulus ARRA funds in 2009–2011. This was in addition to all regular state and federal funding.[91] These extra dollars must be focused on programs to improve the academic achievement of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch or special education students.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1,826 students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income in 2008.[92]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Uniontown Area District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have meant millions in additional federal dollars to improve student academic achievement.[93] The district has been identified as a turnaround school district. This means the district would have received an additional $700 to $900 per student above and beyond the primary grant funding. Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. >[94] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[95] Pennsylvania was not approved in the first round of the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[96]

School Improvement Grant[edit]

In the summer of 2011, the district administration did not apply for School Improvement Grant funding, from the federal government (over $9.9 million available). The district was eligible for the extra funding due to chronic low achievement. The grant stipulates the funds be used for improving student achievement using one of four federally dictated strategies. The strategies are: transformation, turnaround, restart with new faculty and administration or closure of failing schools.[97] The Pennsylvania Education Secretary awarded $66 million to reform Pennsylvania's lowest-achieving schools in August 2011. The funding is for three years.[98]

For the 2010-11 school year, Uniontown Area School District administration did not apply for a School Improvement Grant. It was eligible for funding due to the chronic, low achievement at several schools.[99]

In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the US Department of Education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were disbursed via a competitive grant program.[100] The Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding.[101] Pennsylvania required low performing schools to apply or provide documentation about why they had not applied. The funds must be used, by the district, to turn around schools in one of four ways: school closure, restart - close the school and reopen it as a charter school. The other two options involve firing the principal. One would require at least half the faculty in a chronically poor performing school be dismissed. The second involves intensive teacher training coupled with strong curriculum revision or a longer school day.[102]

Technology grant[edit]

In 2010, the district was eligible for a federal Enhancing Education through Technology grant.[103] The district received $49,438.[104]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Uniontown Area School Board did 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.[105] 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 2011-12 were set by the school board at 14.4300 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.[106] 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.[107]

  • 2010-11 - 14.4300 mills[108]
  • 2009-10 - 13.8500 mills.[109]
  • 2008-09 - 13.8500 mills.[110]
  • 2007-08 - 13.0200 mills.[111]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not authorized to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or 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.[112] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[113] The following exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[114][115]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Uniontown Area School District 2006–2007 through 2010–2011.[116]

  • 2006–07 – 5.6%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007–08 – 4.9%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008–09 – 6.4%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009–10 – 5.9%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010–11 – 4.2%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011–12 – 2.0%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.4%, Base 1.7%[117]

The Uniontown Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009–10 and 2010–11.[118] 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.[119]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Uniontown Area School District was set at $200 for the 5.601 approved primary homesteads and farmsteads.[120] This was the highest tax relief in Fayette County. Uniontown Area School District tax relief was set at $202 for 5,550 homesteads.[121] 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Fayette County, 72% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[122] Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[123] This was the second year Chester Upland School District was the top recipient.

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

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%).[124]

In the News[edit]

Recently, Uniontown Area High School has made the news regarding a carbon monoxide incident that has caused several students to fall ill. Dr. Machesky, superintendent, has denied that there is any CO in the air, and stating that whatever is causing these students to fall ill is not from the High School. This is following an asebsetos incident just a month ago.

Wellness policy[edit]

Uniontown Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 – Policy 246.[125] 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."

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 and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, 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.[126]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy.[127]

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.[128]

The rivalries start at 7th grade, when in each school, students may enter a grouped sport and play for the school. More rivalries include LaFayette—Ben Franklin, All UASD Schools----Laural Highlands Schools, All UASD Schools—Albert Gallatin Schools.

A. J. Everhart, Jr. Memorial Gymnasium - Uniontown Area Senior High School on April 11, 2013 during a fundraiser to benefit the Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Uniontown Faculty team (white) hosted the Brownsville faculty team (black).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projects by school district, January 2009
  2. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 2009
  3. ^ US Census Bureau, (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". 
  4. ^ US Census Bureau (September 2011). "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010". 
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Code Governance 2010
  6. ^ The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives. "The Pennsylvania Project". Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ Western Pennsylvania School District Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009.
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 4, 2011). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings Information". 
  9. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (May 14, 2010). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings". 
  10. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (July 3, 2007). "Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County". 
  11. ^ "2009 PSSA RESULTS Uniontown Area School District,". The Morning Call. Retrieved February 25, 2011. 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Uniontown Area School District AYP Data Table". 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (February 2011). "Uniontown School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". 
  15. ^ "Uniontown School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". 
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. "High School Graduation rate 2007". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "UNIONTOWN AREA SHS - School AYP Overview 2011". 
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (February 2011). "Uniontown Area Senior High School - School AYP Overview". 
  19. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 2010). "The Rankings: 11th Grades,". 
  20. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, The Rankings: 11th Grades, May 15, 2009
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (February 12, 2011). "Uniontown Area Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". 
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 16, 2009). "2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results". 
  24. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA results in Science". 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 10, 2009). "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report". 
  26. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS 2008
  27. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Public School SAT Scores 2011". 
  28. ^ College Board (September 2011). "SAT Scores State By State - Pennsylvania". 
  29. ^ "While U.S. SAT scores dip across the board, N.J. test-takers hold steady". NJ.com. September 2011. 
  30. ^ Uniontown Area School District Administration. "Project 720 Dual Enrollment". 
  31. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Department of Education – Dual Enrollment Guidelines.". 
  32. ^ "Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement". March 7, 2010. 
  33. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. (April 29, 2010). "Report: PA College Credit Transfer System Makes Higher Education More Affordable, Accessible". 
  34. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Dual Enrollment Grants 2009 10 Fall Grants by School District". 
  35. ^ "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements". 
  36. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". 
  37. ^ Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools, The Rankings: 8th Grade, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009.
  38. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Lafayette Middle School - School AYP Data Table". 
  39. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Lafayette Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". 
  40. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 2010). "School Improvement grant application". 
  41. ^ Amy Crawford (June 11, 2010). "$141 million awaits low-achieving schools in Pennsylvania". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 
  42. ^ Uniontown Area School District administration, Notice of Adequate Yearly Progress Parent Choice Notice, August 10, 2011
  43. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Lafayette Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  44. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 18, 2009). "Pennsylvania Reading, Math, Science and Writing PSSA Results 2009". 
  45. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Uniontown Area School District AYP report". 
  46. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Uniontown Area School District AYP Data Table". 
  47. ^ Benjamin Herold (Jul 15, 2011). "List of 89 Pa. schools to be investigated". Philadelphia Public School Notebook. 
  48. ^ Data Recognition Corporation (July 2009). "DATA FORENSICS TECHNICAL REPORT 2009 Reading and Mathematics Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11,". 
  49. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Ben Franklin School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  50. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (February 12, 2011). "Ben Franklin School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". 
  51. ^ "Pennsylvania Reading, Math, Science and Writing PSSA Results 2009". 
  52. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 22, 2009). "Ben Franklin School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". 
  53. ^ Pennsylvania Department oF Education (September 29, 2011). "A.J. McMullen School Middle School - School AYP Overview 2011". 
  54. ^ Pennsylvania Department oF Education (September 29, 2011). "A.J. McMullen School Middle School - School AYP DataTable 2011". 
  55. ^ Pennsylvania Department oF Education (September 29, 2011). "A.J. McMullen School Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011". 
  56. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (February 2011). "A.J. McMullen School Middle School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". 
  57. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Reading, Math, Science and Writing PSSA Results 2009". 
  58. ^ The Rankings – 5th Grade Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009
  59. ^ http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2009/05/18/focus8.html?q=western%20school%20ranking%20pittsburgh Pittsburgh Business Times 3rd grades in Western Pennsylvania in May 2009
  60. ^ Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education (January 31, 2011). "Uniontown Area School District Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets School Year 2008–2009". 
  61. ^ "Uniontown Area Special Education Department". 
  62. ^ Uniontown Area School District Special Education Department (2010–2011). "Uniontown Area School District Special Education Department – Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services". 
  63. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Special Education Funding". 
  64. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Special Education Funding from Pennsylvania State_2010-2011". 
  65. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  66. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (Revised December 1, 2009 Child Count (Collected July 2010)). "Gifted Students as Percentage of Total Enrollment by School District/Charter School". 
  67. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania School Board. "CHAPTER 16. Special Education For Gifted Students". Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  68. ^ Fenton, Jacob, Average classroom teacher salary in Allegheny County, 2006–07. The Morning Call. Accessed March 2010.
  69. ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
  70. ^ Uniontown Professional Education Association Employment Contract 2009
  71. ^ Legislature must act on educators' pension hole. The Patriot News. February 21, 2010
  72. ^ Fenton, Jacob. Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, The Morning Call, Feb 2009.
  73. ^ "Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort by Administrative Spending". 
  74. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009-10 Selected Data - 2009-10 Total Expenditures per ADM". 
  75. ^ General Reserved Fund Balance by School District 1996–2008, Pennsylvania Department of Education Report 2008.
  76. ^ "UNIONTOWN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT". December 2009. 
  77. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (October 2010). "Personal Income Tax Information". 
  78. ^ PA Senate Appropriations Committee (June 28, 2011). "School District 2011-12 Funding Report". 
  79. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2011). "Basic Education Funding". 
  80. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 30, 2011). "Basic Education Funding". 
  81. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 30, 2011). "Basic Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  82. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, District Allocations Report 2009, 2009-10
  83. ^ Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee (August 2010). "PA House Appropriations Committee Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010–2011". 
  84. ^ Office of Budget, (February 2010). "Pennsylvania Budget Proposal,". 
  85. ^ "Pennsylvania Department of Education Report on Funding by School District". October 2009. 
  86. ^ Governor's Budget Proposal 2010. released February 2010.
  87. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Accountability Block Grant report 2010, Grantee list 2010". 
  88. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Accountability Block Grant Mid Year report". 
  89. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (December 22, 2008). "Special Performance Audit Classrooms For the Future grants". 
  90. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Educational Assistance Program Funding 2010-2011 Fiscal Year
  91. ^ Federal Stimulus funding for Fayette County
  92. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education school district funding report. October 2009.
  93. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 9, 2009). "RTTT_Webinar_for_districts_December_2009.pdf". 
  94. ^ Dr. Gerald Zahorchak (December 2008). "Pennsylvania Race to the Top Letter to Superintendents". 
  95. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Press Release (January 2009). "Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support". 
  96. ^ U.S. Department of Education (March 29, 2010). "Race to the Top Fund". 
  97. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Pennsylvania School Improvement Planning". 
  98. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 23, 2011). "Education Secretary Announces $66 Million Awarded to Reform Pennsylvania Lowest-Achieving Schools". 
  99. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education date=2010. "School Improvement grants 2010". 
  100. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "School Improvement information". 
  101. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania School Improvement Grant Components_Stat_Requirements". 
  102. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 9, 2010). "Pennsylvania School Improvement Grant Components_Stat_Requirements". 
  103. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Enhancing Education through Technology Grants Eligible LEAs". 
  104. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Enhancing Education through Technology Grants Award List". 
  105. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Common Cents program – Making Every Dollar Count". Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  106. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Real Estate Tax Rates by School District 2011-12 Real Estate Mills". 
  107. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2004). "Act 511 Tax Report". 
  108. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Real Estate Tax Millage by School District,". 
  109. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Financial Elements Reports". 
  110. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Financial Elements Reports 2008-09 Real Estate Mills". 
  111. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2008). "Real Estate Tax Millage by School District,". 
  112. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2010-11 Act 1 of 2006 Referendum Exception Guidelines". 
  113. ^ Kaitlynn Riely (August 4, 2011). "Law could restrict school construction projects". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  114. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, (June 2011). "SB330 of 2011". 
  115. ^ Eric Boehm (July 1, 2011). "Property tax reform final piece of state budget". PA Independent. 
  116. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 School District Adjusted Index for 2006–2007 through 2011–2012". 
  117. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2011). "2012-2013 School District Adjusted Index Listing". 
  118. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2010). "Pennsylvania SSAct1_Act1 Exceptions Report 2010-2011 April 2010". 
  119. ^ Scarcella, Frank and Pursell, Tricia (May 25, 2010). "Local school tax assessments exceed state averages". The Daily Item. 
  120. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Estimated Tax Relief Per Homestead and Farmstead May 1, 2010". 
  121. ^ Tax Relief per Homesteads May 1, 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Education report.
  122. ^ Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief, Pennsylvania Auditor General Office, February 23, 2010.
  123. ^ Tax Relief per Homestead May 1, 2010. Report Pennsylvania Department of Education, May 1, 2010
  124. ^ New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners, Tax Foundation, September 22, 2009.
  125. ^ Uniontown Area School Board Policy Manual
  126. ^ Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools for the School Nutrition Incentive, Pennsylvania Department of Education – Division of Food and Nutrition. July 2008
  127. ^ Uniontown Area School Board Policy Manual Extracurriculars Policy 122 and Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123
  128. ^ Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005

External links[edit]