York City School District

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The School District of the City Of York
More Color Map of York County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
" “As a professional learning community we educate the whole child by providing an engaging and challenging learning environment to ensure each student receives a premier education” “Failure is not an option”
Address
31 North Pershing Avenue
York, Pennsylvania, York County, 17401-1927
United States
Information
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent Dr Deborah L Wortham, salary $139,000 2012
Administrator Dr Linda Brown - Asst Superintendent salary $109,156

Dr Eric Holmes - Assistant Superintendent, salary $119,271
Dr Tamara Willis - Assistant Superintendent
Mr Richard Snodgrass - Business Manager
Sharon Miller - $146,017
Eric Bentzel -$106,656
Anna Parlett-Bickfor - $96,254

Principal James, Robert, salary $109,170
Principal Debbie Hummel, $104,656
Principal Deloris Penn, $104,656
Principal Kimberly Bell, $98,500
Principal Darlene Freeman, $98,500
Vice principal Bowman, Lori - salary $90,318
Vice principal Greg Wolfgang - salary $88,239
Faculty 411.5 teachers 2012[1]
Grades Pre K-12
Age preschool to 21 years old special education
Pupils 5,724 pupils (2012),[2] 5802 (2010)[3]
Kindergarten 580
Grade 1 559
Grade 2 496
Grade 3 568
Grade 4 524
Grade 5 473
Grade 6 377
Grade 7 404
Grade 8 464
Grade 9 392
Grade 10 413
Grade 11 260
Grade 12 292
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Blue and Orange
Mascot Bearcat
Budget $119,490,042 in 2012 [4]
Per pupil spending $12,698 (2008)
Per pupil spending $15,810.96 (2011)
Website

The School District of the City of York is a large, urban, public school district serving the City of York, Pennsylvania in York County, Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 5 square miles (13 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 40,968. In 2010, the district's population rose to 43,769 people. In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $13,433, while the median family income was $30,712.[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 2005–06 the School District of the City of York provided basic educational services to 7,375 pupils through the employment of 440 teachers, 252 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 43 administrators.

Schools[edit]

  • William Penn Senior High School grades 9–12
  • Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School grades 6–8 (closed)
  • Hannah Penn Middle School grades 6–8 (closed)
  • McKinley Elementary School K-8
  • A.D. Goode Elementary School K-8
  • Ferguson Elementary School K-8
  • Jacob L. Devers Elementary School K-8
  • Phineas Davis Elementary School Grades K-8
  • Jackson Elementary School K-8
  • Lindbergh Education Center
      • Per the 2012-2013 budget cuts, the following changes will be made. All elementary school will become grades K-8 (or 1-8 with the possible elimination of kindergarten), with the closing of Edgar Fahs Smith and Hannah Penn Middle School.

Academic achievement[edit]

In July 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying several York City School District schools as among the lowest-achieving schools for reading and mathematics in 2011. Davis School, Devers school, Jackson School, McKinley School, Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School, Hannah Penn Middle School and William Penn Senior High School are all listed among the 15% lowest-achieving schools in the Commonwealth. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012.[8] The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to a neighboring public school district. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district.[9] Eight public schools in York County are among the lowest-achieving schools in Pennsylvania, in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2012-13 school year, seven public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list, including: Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District and Steelton-Highspire School District.[10] Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating

District AYP status

In 2012, the School District of York City declined to Corrective Action II 5th Year AYP status due to its persistently low student academic achievement in both math and reading.[11] 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 - Corrective Action II 4th Year AYP status [12]
  • 2010 - Corrective Action II 3rd Year status due to its chronically low student achievement.[13]
  • 2009 - Corrective Action II 2nd Year status
  • 2008 - Corrective Action II 1st Year status
  • 2007 - Corrective Action 1 status
  • 2006 - School Improvement 2 status
  • 2005 - Making Progress School Improvement [14]
Statewide academic ranking

The School District of York City was ranked 491st out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2013, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic achievement on the PSSA results on: reading, writing, math and science.

  • 2012 - 492nd [15]
  • 2011 - 492nd [16]
  • 2010 – 493rd[17]
  • 2009 – 492nd
  • 2008 – 494th
  • 2007 – 494th out of 500 school districts in Pennsylvania.[18]

In January 2012, testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee Public Hearing on Fiscally Distressed School Districts revealed that 46.9% of the district's students were on grade level in both reading and math as measured on the 2010-11 PSSAs. Statewide 75.3% of Pennsylvania's public schools (including charter schools) students were on grade level, in both reading and math. Additionally, none of the districts nine schools had achieved adequate yearly progress as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education under No Child Left Behind. No York City school grade was performing at the statewide level of academic achievement in reading, math or science. In 2004, 33.4% of the students were achieving on grade level in reading and mathematics. At that time 60% of students statewide were on grade level in reading and math.[19]

Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. York City School District ranked 207th. In 2011, the district was 232nd. [20] 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."[21]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of School District of York City was in the lowest 1st percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale – (0–99; 100 is state best)[22]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2012, York City School District's graduation rate was 73%. In 2011, York City School District's graduation rate was 71%.[23] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. York City School District's rate was 70% for 2010.[24]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2011 - 76%
  • 2010 – 71% [25]
  • 2009 – 65%
  • 2008 – 65% [26]
  • 2007 – 65% [27]
  • 2005 – 63% [28]

William Penn Senior High School[edit]

William Penn Senior High School is located at 101 West College Avenue, York. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school had 1,329 pupils enrolled in grades 7th through 12th, with 609 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 108 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[29]

In 2012, William Penn Senior High School declined to Corrective Action II 7th Year status due to chronic, low student achievement in reading, math and science. In 2011, William Penn Senior High School declined to Corrective Action II 6th Year status due to chronic, low student achievement in all areas tested.[30] The school was in Corrective Action II 5th Year status due to chronically poor student achievement in 2010 .[31] Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to offer a transfer to the students to a successful school in the district. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education required the administration to develop and submit for its approval a school improvement plan.

In 2009, William Penn Senior High School ranked 604th out of 666 Pennsylvania high schools for the reading and mathematics achievement of its students.[32]

PSSA Results:
11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 33% on grade level, (40% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[33]
  • 2011 - 38% (47% below basic). State - 69.1% [34]
  • 2010 – 31% (48% below basic). State - 67% [35]
  • 2009 – 35%, State – 65%[36]
  • 2008 – 32%, State – 65%[37]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 32% on grade level (51% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[38]
  • 2011 - 26% (58% below basic). State - 60.3%[39]
  • 2010 – 27% (55% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 – 24.8%, State – 56%[40]
  • 2008 – 32%, State – 55%[41]
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 10% on grade level (54% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[42]
  • 2011 - 11% (53% below basic). State - 40% [43]
  • 2010 – 10% (56% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 – 9.6%, State – 40%
  • 2008 – 8%, State – 39%[44]

Science in Motion William Penn 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.[45] The school worked with Gettysburg College to provide the experiences.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 54% of William Penn 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.[46] 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.[47] 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 2012, 172 School District of York City students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 376. The Math average score was 375. The Writing average score was 349. 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.

From January to June 2011, 117 York City School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 410. The Math average score was 416. The Writing average score was 370.[48] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[49] 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.[50]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The City of York School Board has determined that each student must earn 22 credits, including English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Social Studies 3 credits, Health/PE 1 credit, Wellness 1 credit, and electives 5 credits. Students must also complete a graduation project which provides 1 credit towards graduation. Students can earn one Wellness credit by participating in: JROTC, Varsity Sports, or Marching Band during the school year. You may earn a maximum of .5 credits per academic year.[51][52]

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.[53] The district's project focuses on career development.[54] 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.[55]

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.[56][57][58] 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.[59] 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.[60] 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.

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. 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 and programs at their high school, including the graduation ceremony. 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.[61] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[62] For the 2010–11 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $37,919 for the program.[63]

Hannah Penn Middle School[edit]

Hannah Penn Middle School is located at 415 E Boundary Avenue, York. In 2010, had 787 pupils enrolled in grades 6th through 8th, with 463 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 68 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[64]

School AYP status:

In 2012, Hannah Penn Middld School declined to Corrective Action II 7th Year status due to chronic low student achievement in reading and math. In 2011, the school declined to Corrective Action II 6th Year status due to chronic low student achievement in all areas tested. In 2010, the school was in Corrective Action II 5th Year status due to chronic low student achievement in reading and math.[65] Under No CHild Left Behind, the school administration was required to offer a transfer to students to a successful school in the district. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education required the administration to develop and submit for its approval a school improvement plan to address the serious academic shortfalls.

8th Grade Reading:

  • 2012 - 42% on grade level (34% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level. (233 pupils)[38]
  • 2011 - 39% (39% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 – 43% (38% below basic). State - 81% (259 pupils enrolled)
  • 2009 – 44%, State – 80% (254 pupils) [66]
  • 2008 – 45%, State – 78% (249 pupils)

8th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 41% on grade level (41% below basic). State - 76% [67]
  • 2011 - 32% (47% below basic). State - 76.9% [68]
  • 2010 – 31% (50% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2009 – 33%, State – 71%
  • 2008 – 29%, State – 70%

8th Grade Science

  • 2012 - 0% on grade level (83% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 13% (72% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 18% (69% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 – 11%, State – 55%
  • 2008 – 10%, State – 52%

E. F. Smith Middle School[edit]

Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School is located at 701 Texas Avenue, York. In 2010, had 787 pupils enrolled in grades 6th through 8th, with 428 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 40 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 10:1.[69]

In 2012, EF Smith Middle School declined to Corrective Action II 7th Year due to chronic low math and reading achievement.[70] In 2011, EF Smith Middle School declined to Corrective Action II 6th Year due to chronic low math and reading achievement by students.[71] In 2010, EF Smith Middle School was in Corrective Action II 5th Year due to continuing low math and reading achievement. Under No Child Left Behind, the school administration was required to offer a transfer to students to a successful school in the district. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education required the administration to develop and submit for its approval a school improvement plan.

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 43% on grade level (21% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[38]
  • 2011 - 55% (26% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 – 65% (23% below basic) State - 81% (164 pupils enrolled)
  • 2009 – 53%, State – 80% (162 pupils enrolled)[72]
  • 2008 – 29%, State – 78%
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 49% on grade level (28% below basic). State - 76% [73]
  • 2011 - 45% (34% below basic). State - 76.9% [74]
  • 2010 – 47% (31% below basic), State – 75% [75]
  • 2009 – 47%, State – 71%
  • 2008 – 45%, State – 70% [76]
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 14% on grade level (69% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 22% (64% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 25% (53% below basic). State – 57%.
  • 2009 – 20%, State – 55%
  • 2008 – 12%, State – 52%

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Davis School is located at 300 S Ogontz Street, York. In 2010, the school had 467 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten through 5th grade, with 115 receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 34 teachers, yielding a 13:1 student–teacher ratio.[77] In 2011, the school was in Making Progress: in Corrective Action I due to chronic low student achievement in reading and mathematics.[78] Fifty nine percent of the students in grade third through fifth were reading on grade level. In math, 69% of the students in grades 3-5 were on grade level. In 4th grade science 64% were on grade level.[79] In 2010, the school was in Corrective Action I AYP status level. Davis School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009 [1] The school provides taxpayer funded preschool.
  • Devers School is located at 801 Chanceford Avenue, York. In 2010, the school had 652 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten through 6th grade, with 170 receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 42 teachers, yielding a 15:1 student–teacher ratio.[80] In 2011, the school declined to School Improvement I due to chronic low student achievement in reading and mathematics.[81] Fifty four percent of the students in grade third through sixth were reading on grade level. In math, 71% of the students in grades 3-6 were on grade level. In 4th grade science 60% were on grade level.[82] In 2010, the school was in Warning AYP status level. The school provides taxpayer funded preschool. Devers School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009 [2]
  • Goode School is located at 251 North Broad Street, York. In 2010, the school had 666 pupils enrolled in grades preschool through 5th grade, with 443 receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 43 teachers, yielding a 15:1 student–teacher ratio.[83] In 2011, the school declined to Corrective Action II due to chronic low student achievement in reading and mathematics.[84] Fifty six percent of the students in grade third through fifth were reading on grade level. Just 47% of African American students were reading on grade level. In math, 74% of the students, in grades 3-5, were on grade level. In 4th grade science 48% were on grade level.[85] In 2010, the school was in Making Progress: in Corrective Action I AYP status level. The school provides taxpayer funded preschool.
  • Jackson School is located at 177 East Jackson Street, York. In 2010, the school had 486 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten through 5th grade, with 387 receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 33 teachers, yielding a 14:1 student–teacher ratio.[86] In 2011, the school declined to Corrective Action I due to chronic low student achievement in reading and mathematics.[87] Fifty one percent of the students in grade third through fifth were reading on grade level. In math, 63% of the students in grades 3-5 were on grade level. In 4th grade science 57% were on grade level.[88] In 2010, the school was in School Improvement II AYP status level. The school provides taxpayer funded preschool. Jackson School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009 [3]
  • McKinley School is located at 600 Manor Street, York. In 2010, the school had 536 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten through 5th grade, with 295 receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 29 teachers, yielding an 18:1 student–teacher ratio.[89] In 2011, the school improved to Making Progress: in Corrective Action II due to chronic low student achievement in reading and mathematics.[90] Forty six percent of the students in grade third through fifth were reading on grade level. In math, 64% of the students in grades 3-5 were on grade level. In 4th grade science 59% were on grade level.[91] In 2010, the school was in Corrective Action II 4th Year AYP status level. The school provides taxpayer funded preschool. The administration was mandated by No Child Left Behind to offer a transfer to children to a successful school in the district. The school administration was required to develop a School Improvement Plan and to submit the plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for approval.

Alternative education[edit]

The district provides an alternative education program to disruptive students at Lindbergh Education Center. The district spent approximately $4.8 million to renovate the building for this purpose. The School District of York City reported spending $2.5 million in 2008, on alternative education outside of its own program for about 150–160 students.[92]

Special education[edit]

In December 2009, the district administration reported that 1568 pupils or 26% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[93]

The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who believe their child is eligible for services may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Department of Special Education.[94]

ConsultLine is a toll-free parent helpline for special education questions and concerns of district residents. Advisors answer questions and provide information about the special education process and the laws governing such programs for parents of children with disabilities and educational agencies that serve them. 1-800-879-2301.

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.[95] 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.[96] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[97] 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.[98]

The York City School District received a $5,260,349 supplement for special education services in 2010.[99] For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. 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.[100]

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.[101] 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 its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "C-" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[102]

Enrollment[edit]

The district has experienced a steady decline in enrollment, in the middle schools and high school, since 2005. District officials reported a 26% decrease in enrollment in the district by 2010.[103] In 2011, district enrollment declined to 5,724 pupils, including preschool students. Enrollment in 2010 was 5900 pupils. In 2005, there were 6617 pupils district wide. Some of the decline in enrollment is attributed to charter school enrollments in the district.

Bullying policy[edit]

The school district administration reported there was 1 incident of bullying in the district in 2009.[104][105]

The York City School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[106] All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[107] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[108]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[109]

Budget[edit]

In February 2012, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Wortham reported the district was at risk for missing payroll, in April 2012, due to an $8 million budget deficit. She reported that efforts had been made to reduce expenses, including a proposal to cut half-day sessions by an additional hour every other Wednesday and a 3.8 percent reduction in pay for teachers, which the teacher union rejected.[110] Wertham explained that the deficit was a carry over from the prior year's budget deficit of $19 million.[111]

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.[112]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in York City School District was $64,979 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $20,408 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $85,387.[113]

In 2009, the district reported employing over 250 teachers with a salary range of $39,869 to $95,000.[114]

In 2007, the York City School District employed 379 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $58,823 for 180 days worked.[115] In 2010, the District employed 366 teachers. The median teacher salary, in the district, in 2010 was $66,522, which was higher than the median teacher salary statewide of $65,000.

  • PA Teacher Profiles Database 2008–09 [4]

APA Study According to an extensive study of York County school districts conducted by APA Associates in 2008, the School District of York City achieved a +7 rating based on Performance and Relative Efficiency. Central York School District and Northeastern York School District ranked +10 and 11 of 16 York County districts achieved a positive rating.[116]

The School District administrative costs was $917.59 per pupil in 2008. It ranked 96th among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 in 2008.[117] In 2010, Dr. Eric Holmes was the Acting Superintendent of Schools for the district. Dr. Deborah Wortham was hired as Superintendent in July 2011 with a three-year contract.[118] Her salary starting salary is $139,000.

Per pupil spending In 2008, the City of York School District reported spending $12,698 per pupil which ranked 201st among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.[119] In 2010 it had risen to $14,528 per pupil.

Audit In January 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Multiple significant findings were reported to the school board and administration.[120]

Tuition Students who live in the York City School 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 York City 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 District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $9,778.93, High School - $12,933,50.[121]

City of York School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.50%, 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.[122] Interest earnings on reserve 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 individual's level of wealth.[123] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year plus they receive Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[124]

State basic education funding[edit]

For the 2012-13 school year, the District received $50,834,369.[125] 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 (ABG) program. YCSD received $750,836 in ABG funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[126] 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, City of York School District received a $44,679,547 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[127][128] Additionally, the School District received $750,836 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.[129] 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.[130] In 2010, the district reported that 882 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[131]

For the 2010–11 budget year, the York City School District received a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $46,739,875. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in York County was awarded to Hanover Public School District at 8.39%. Among Pennsylvania school districts, the highest increase in 2010–11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[132] 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.[133]

In the 2009–2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 9.62% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $45,819,402. Four school districts in York County received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2009 the highest of which was 12.54% to Central York School District. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008–09 was $41,799,672. In York County, 12 school districts received less than 6% increase in state basic education funding in 2010 and three districts received the base 2% increase. Ninety school districts in the commonwealth were given the base 2% increase. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[134]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 5,996 students received free or reduced-price lunches in the 2007–2008 school year.[135]

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 York City School District applied for and received $2,037,957 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten.[136][137]

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. York City School District did not apply to participate in 2006–07. In 2007–08 the district received $310,138. The district received $53,664 in 2008–09 for a total of $363,802.[138]

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's Education Assistance Program 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 York City School District received $630,235.[139]

Other grants[edit]

The City of York School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants, PA Science Its Elementary grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, nor the 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

York City School District received an extra $9,015,339 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[140]

School Improvement Grant[edit]

In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the federal department of education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were disbursed via a competitive grant program.[141] The Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding.[142] 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.[143] York City School District applied for the grant. Its application was denied by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for various reasons.[144]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

School district officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the district would have received millions in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[145] Due to the districts long term low student achievement tit was identified as a turnaround district. This meant the district would receive an additional $750 per pupil above the base granted amount. 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. Six York County school districts applied to participate. Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of most districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[146]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The York City School Board decided 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.[147] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The school board levied a real estate tax of 33.7361 mills in 2012–13.[148] 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. On the local level, Pennsylvania 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.[149]

  • 2011-12 - 31.0778 mills.[150]
  • 2010-11 - 29.5400 mills[151]
  • 2009-10 - 29.5400 mills.[152]
  • 2008-09 - 29.5400 mills.[153]
  • 2007-08 - 29.5400 mills.[154]
  • 2006-07 - 29.5400 mills.[155]
  • 2005-06 - 27.1900 mills.[156]

The average yearly property tax paid by York County residents amounts to about 4.01% of their yearly income. York County ranked 232nd of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[157] 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.[158] 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%).[159]

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.[160]

The School District Adjusted Index for the York City School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.[161]

For the 2013-14 budget year, York City School District School Board applied for 2 exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: Special Education costs and Teacher pension costs. For 2013-2014, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[164]

For the 2012-13 budget year, York City School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: Special Education Costs and 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.[164]

For the 2011-12 school year, the York City School Board applied for three exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index due to Special Education costs, School Improvement costs and Teacher Pension costs. Each year, the 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.[165]

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.[166]

The York City School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[167] 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.[168]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the York City School District was $495 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 5,861 property owners applied for the tax relief.[169] In 2009, the district's property tax relief amount was set at $175 to 7,307 approved homestead owners. In 2010 within York County, the highest amount went to York City School District set at $495 per approved homestead. The property tax 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. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $641 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[170] CUSD was given $632 in 2009. This was the second year they were the top recipient.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently individuals who have income substantially greater 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%).[171]

Wellness policy[edit]

The York City School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 – Policy 246.[172] 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, 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.[173]

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

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district's students have access to a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy.[174]

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.[175][176]

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  174. ^ York City School Board Policy Manual Extracurriculars Policy 122 and Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123
  175. ^ Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005
  176. ^ Extracurricular Participation By Charter Cyber Charter Students. Policy 140.1, Extracurricular Prticipation By Home Education Students Policy 137.1, Extracurricular Participation by Home Education Students Policy 137.

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Coordinates: 39°57′44″N 76°43′54″W / 39.96230°N 76.73159°W / 39.96230; -76.73159