Bloomsburg Area School District

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Bloomsburg Area School District
Map of Columbia County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
728 East Fifth Street
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, Columbia County 17815-2305
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent

Mr Joseph T Kelly, acting Superintendent (Contract October 17, 2015 to June 30, 2016)[1]

Cosmas C. Curry, salary $105,000 (2013) (2009-2015)[2]
Administrator

Ryan K. Moran, Director of Elementary and Secondary Education
Gary Honabach, Director of Technology
Michael A. Upton, Business Administrator
Donna Christensen, Director of Special Education

Melissa Everhart, Food Service Director
Principal

Mr. Daniel Bonomo, HS salary $89,250 (2014)[3]

Mr. Stephen Bressi, HS VP
Principal Mr. Christopher Groody, WW Evans ES and Beaver Main ES
Principal Trevor J Palmatier, Memorial ES
Principal Marc Freeman, MS salary $73,500 (2013)
Staff 129 staff members
Faculty 132 teachers in 2012
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils

1,600 pupils (2016)[4]
1,582 (2015)[5]
1,582 pupils (2014)[6]
1,625 pupils (2013)[7]
1,645 pupils (2010–11)

1,640 (2009–10) [8]
 • Kindergarten 134 (2014),[9] 118 (2012), 137 (2010)
 • Grade 1 123 (2014), 132 (2012), 131
 • Grade 2 118 (2014), 128 (2012), 126
 • Grade 3 125 (2014), 131 (2012), 114
 • Grade 4 126 (2014), 115 (2012), 148
 • Grade 5 133 (2014), 129 (2012), 132
 • Grade 6 161 (2014), 122 (2012), 132
 • Grade 7 125 (2014), 153(2012), 115
 • Grade 8 117 (2014), 120 (2012), 138
 • Grade 9 122 (2014), 104 (2012), 129
 • Grade 10 106 (2014), 103 (2012), 115
 • Grade 11 95 (2014), 116 (2012), 116
 • Grade 12 97 (2014), 115 (2012), 107 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to be 1,493 students in 2019[10]
Color(s) Red and White
Mascot Panthers
Newspaper Red and White
Budget

$24,843,623 (2016-17)[11]
$22,447,274.64 (2013–14)[12]
$21,625,023.51 (2012–13)[13]
$21,276,742.43 (2011–12)[14]

$22,561,723.95 (2010–11)[15]
Per pupil spending $11,671 (2008)
Per pupil spending $11,647.20 (2010)
Website

The Bloomsburg Area School District is a small, suburban/rural public school district. The District is one of the 500 school districts of Pennsylvania. The Bloomsburg Area School District serves the Town of Bloomsburg and Beaver Township, Hemlock Township, Main Township and Montour Township in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. The District encompasses approximately 81 square miles (210 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 17,860. By 2010, the District's population increased to 20,654 people.[16] The educational attainment levels for the District's population (25 years old and over) were 91.5% high school graduates and 26.4% college graduates.[17]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 49.6% of the Bloomsburg Area School District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[18] In 2009, the District residents' per capita income was $14,741, while the median family income was $42,136 a year.[19] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[20] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[21] Bloomsburg University is located in the community.

According to District officials, in 2011-12, Bloomsburg Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,628 pupils. The District employed: 136 teachers, 93 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 8 administrators. The District received $8.4 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year. For the school year 2007-08, Bloomsburg Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,838 pupils. In 2007-08, it employed: 143 teachers, 108 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 6 administrators. Bloomsburg Area School District received more than $7.8 million in state funding for school year 2007-08.

Bloomsburg Area School District operates: three elementary schools (grades Kindergarten through 5th), the largest being Memorial Elementary School, W.W. Evans Elementary School and Beaver Main Elementary School. The three elementary schools feed into the single Bloomsburg Middle School (grades 6th, 7th and 8th). High school aged students have the choice of attending Bloomsburg Area High School, attending a cyber charter school or transferring to the Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School which is a regional technical school for training in the trades. Bloomsburg Area High School underwent major recent renovations in summer 2006 through fall 2008.

The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit IU16 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Bloomsburg Area 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.[22] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills. The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The Bloomsburg Area School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.

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.[23]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2016, Bloomsburg Area School District ranked 132nd out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[24] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[25] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

Overachievers ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Bloomsburg Area School District ranked 23rd. The paper 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."[33]

  • 2012 - 29th
  • 2010 - 30th
  • 2009 - 82nd

US News and World Report ranked 21,000 public high schools, in the United States, based on three factors. First, the schools were analyzed for the number of students who achieved above the state average on the reading and math tests. Then they considered how the economically disadvantaged students performed against the state average. Finally, they considered the participation rate and the performance of students in college readiness by examining Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate test data. Bloomsburg Area High School ranked 45th place in Pennsylvania and 1,758th among USA high schools, for a silver medal in 2014. Among Pennsylvania high schools (traditional, charter and private) 56 achieved gold or silver medals. Another 103 high schools achieved bronze rating out of 698 Pennsylvania high schools reviewed.[34] The Bloomsburg Area High School was ranked Silver in 2011 and was listed as #1,560 of all high schools in the nation.[35] In 2009, Bloomsburg Area High School was ranked Bronze. Seventy Pennsylvania high schools achieved bronze, silver or gold rating. Fifty three Pennsylvania high schools achieved bronze.[36] In 2013, Bloomsburg Area High School was not in the top rankings.[37]

In 2009, the student academic achievement of the Bloomsburg Area School District was in the 74th percentile of Pennsylvania public school districts. Scale – (0–99; 100 is state best)[38]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Bloomsburg Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[39] In 2011, Bloomsburg Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[40] Bloomsburg Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[41]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2016, the graduation rate at Bloomsburg Area High School rose to 94.9%.[42]

  • 2015 - 96.4%[43]
  • 2014 - 92%.[44]
  • 2013 - 89%.[45]
  • 2012 - 87%.[46]
  • 2011 - 93%.[47]
  • 2010 - 85%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[48]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

Bloomsburg Area High School[edit]

Bloomsburg Area High School is located at 1200 Railroad Street. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 422 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 27% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 7% of pupils received special education services, while 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 36 teachers.[52] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, in 2014.

In 2013, enrollment was reported as 438 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 29% of pupils eligible for free federal meals programs due to poverty. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. Additionally, 11.6% of pupils receiving special education services, while 7.7% were identified as gifted. The school employed 37 teachers.[53] Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2013.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Bloomsburg Area High School reported an enrollment of 358 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 115 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school was a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 37 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 9:1.[54] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[55]

2016 School Performance Profile

2016 SPP 82.2 out of 100 points. Bloomsburg Area High School Keystone Exams mandated testing results were: 93.2% of students were on grade level in reading.literature and 81.5% of students demonstrated on grade level in Algebra I. In Biology I, 83.4% of pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the Biology course.[56] The requirement that pupils pass the Keystone Exams in reading, algebra I and bIology I in order to graduate was postponed until 2019 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly because less than 60% of 12 grade pupils statewide would have been eligible for graduation from high school due to failing one or more Keystone Exams.[57] Fifty-four percent of the 2,676 public schools in Pennsylvania achieved a passing score of 70 or better.[58]

2015 School Performance Profile

Bloomsburg Area High School achieved 82.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 71.6% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 73.8% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 83.9% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[59] Statewide, 53 percent of schools with an eleventh grade achieved an academic score of 70 or better. Five percent of the 2,033 schools with 11th grade were scored at 90 and above; 20 percent were scored between 80 and 89; 28 percent between 70 and 79; 25 percent between 60 and 69 and 22 percent below 60. The Keystone Exam results showed: 73 percent of students statewide scored at grade-level in English, 64 percent in Algebra I and 59 percent in biology.[60][61]

2014 School Performance Profile

Bloomsburg Area High School achieved 83.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 85% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 81% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, 73% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[62][63] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[64]

2013 School Performance Profile

Bloomsburg Area High School achieved 83.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 92% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 68% showed on grade level math skills at the end of the course. In Biology, 68% demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[65] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[66]

AYP status

In 2012, Bloomsburg Area High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging student academic achievement especially in mathematics.[67] In 2010 and 2011, Bloomsburg Area High School achieved AYP status, under No Child Left Behind.[68] Bloomsburg Area High School achieved AYP status each year from 2004 through 2009, while in 2003 it was in Warning AYP status due to lagging academic achievement.[69]

PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[70]

11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 78% on grade level, (11% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[71]
  • 2011 - 75% (16% below basic). State - 69.1%[72]
  • 2010 - 79% (9% below basic). State - 67%[73] In 2010, Bloomsburg 11th graders ranked 3rd among the 18 Central Pennsylvania IU16 high schools, for on grade level reading achievement.[74]
  • 2009 - 78%, State – 65%[75]
  • 2008 - 85%, State – 65%
  • 2007 - 72%, State – 65%[76]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 63% on grade level (13% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[77]
  • 2011 - 68% (12% below basic). State - 60.3% [78]
  • 2010 - 65% (24% below basic). State - 59%[79] In 2010, Bloomsburg AHS 11th graders ranked 11th among the Central Pennsylvania IU16 high schools for math achievement.[80]
  • 2009 - 58%, State – 56% of 11th graders are on grade level.%[81]
  • 2008 - 64%, State – 56%[82]
  • 2007 - 67%, State – 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 56% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[83]
  • 2011 - 55% (7% below basic). State - 40%[84]
  • 2010 - 63% (9% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 49%, State - 40%[85]
  • 2008 - 45%, State - 39%[86]
  • 2007 - tested but results not made public

Science in Motion Bloomsburg Area High School and Middle 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.[87] Susquehanna University provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 19% of Bloomsburg Area School District's 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.[88] 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.[89] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Bloomsburg Area 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. 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.[90] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[91] 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.[92] Under state rules, other students, that reside in the district, who attend a private school, a charter school or are homeschooled are eligible to participate in this program.[93]

For the 2009–10 funding year, Bloomsburg Area School District received a state grant of $2,726 for the program.[94] In October 2010, Governor Edward Rendell eliminated the dual enrollment grants to students, due to a state budget crisis.

Graduation requirements[edit]

Among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, graduation requirements widely vary. The Bloomsburg Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 27.25 credits to graduate, including: math - 4 credits, English - 4 credits, social studies - 4 credits, science - 4 credits, Arts/humanities 1 credit, Business tech 1 credit, Personal finance - 0.5 credit, Driver Ed 0.25 credit, Physical Education 2 credits, Health 1 credit and electives.[95]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students were required to 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.[96] 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.[97]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2019,[98] public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[99][100][101] 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.[102] 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.[103] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 84 Bloomsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 529. The Math average score was 514. The Writing average score was 499.[104] The College Board also reported that statewide 96,826 pupils took the exams with average scores declining in all three measurers to: 495 in reading, 511 in math and 484 in writing.[105]

In 2014, Bloomsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 512. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 498.[106] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[107]

In 2013, Bloomsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 499. The Math average score was 491. The Writing average score was 478. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nationwide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[108]

In 2012, 69 Bloomsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 499. The Math average score was 499. The Writing average score was 466. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 74 Bloomsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 535. The Math average score was 509. The Writing average score was 504.[109] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[110] 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.[111]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[112]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 71 percent of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania chose to continue their education after high school in 2003, whereas 79 percent of urban high school graduates opted to continue their education.

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Bloomsburg Area High School offered 5 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. The student pays a fee for the exam which was $89 per test per pupil in 2012. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Bloomsburg Area High School 63% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[113]

In 2014, Bloomsburg Area High School offered 4 AP courses, with 51% of pupils who took the course achieving a 3 or better on the AP exam.

ACE[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School District students have access to Bloomsburg University's Summer College and Advanced College Experience (ACE) during the summer of their sophomore, junior and senior years (after high school graduation). Tuition is deeply discounted to 75% of the regular student rate.[114] Successful students earn college credits that can be transferred to other Pennsylvania public colleges and universities through the Pennsylvania TRAC system.[115]

Middle school[edit]

Bloomsburg Area Middle School is located at 1100 Railroad Street. In 2014, enrollment was 391 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 45% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 11.7% of pupils received special education services, while 5.8% of pupils were identified as gifted.[116] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[117]

In 2013, Bloomsburg Area Middle School's enrollment was 395 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 41% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14% of pupils received special education services, while 6% of pupils were identified as gifted.[118] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[119]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, Bloomsburg Area Middle School reported an enrollment of 395 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 41% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 32 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[120] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[121]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 2016 70.2 out of 100 points. Bloomsburg Area Middle School PSSA mandated testing results were: 68.7% of students in 8th grade were on grade level in reading, while 35.8% of students demonstrated on grade level in mathematics. In science, 72.4% of eighth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[122] In 7th grade, 73.4% of pupils were on grade level in reading, while just 46.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 53.4% were on grade level in reading and only 41.3% were on grade level in math.

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE reported that 68% of 8th grade students at Bloomsburg Area Middle School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 28% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 66% of the school’s 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 56% were on grade level in reading, while 39% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 72% were on grade level in reading and 50% were on grade level in mathematics.[123] Statewide 58% of eighth (8th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 29% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 7th graders were 58% on grade level in reading and 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among sixth (6th) graders, 60.7% were reading on grade level, while 39.7% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[124]

2014 School Performance Profile

Bloomsburg Area Middle School achieved 80.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 80% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 86.7% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 72.7% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 84% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[125]

2013 School Performance Profile

Bloomsburg Area Middle School achieved 82.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 80% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, 89% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 79.8% of the 8th graders demonstrated n grade level understanding. In writing, 80.5% of the 8th grade students were on grade level.[126]

AYP History

In 2011 and 2012, Bloomsburg Area Middle School achieved AYP status.[127] The attendance rate for 2011 and 2010 was 95%.[128]

  • 2010 - Making Progress in School Improvement Level 1 in 2010.[129] Bloomsburg Area Middle School was identified as a low performing school due to lagging student achievement in 2007–2009. The Pennsylvania Department of Education notified the school administration that it was eligible for School Improvement Grant funding.[130]
  • 2009 - declined to School Improvement Level I AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.[131]
  • 2008 - declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.
  • 2004 to 2007 - achieved AYP status.
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status.
PSSA History;

The PSSAs are given in the Spring of each school year. Sixth and seventh grades are tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999. Testing in science began in 2007. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[132]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 82% on grade level (7% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[133]
  • 2011 - 89% (2% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 - 86%, (7% below basic). State - 81%. Bloomsburg Middle School 8th grade ranked 8th out of 19 Central Pennsylvania 8th grades in on grade level reading achievement in 2010.[134]
  • 2009 - 74% (12% below basic). State - 80% [135]
  • 2008 - 66% (18% below basic). State - 78% [136]
  • 2007 - 77% (9% below basic). State - 75% [137]
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 84% on grade level (6% below basic). State - 76% [138]
  • 2011 - 86% (2% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 85% (7% below basic). State - 75%[139]
  • 2009 - 69% (13% below basic). State - 71%[140]
  • 2008 - 65%, State - 70% (19% below basic)
  • 2007 - 77%, State - 67% (10% below basic)
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 80% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 59% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 77%, (9% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 71%, (13% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 57%, (16% below basic). State - 55%
  • 2008 - 54%, State - 52% [141]

Memorial Elementary School[edit]

Memorial Elementary School is located at 500 Market Street. In 2014, Memorial Elementary School's enrollment was 454 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 56% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 10.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while 3.5% are identified as gifted.[142] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. Memorial Elementary School provides full day kindergarten.[143] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, enrollment is 443 pupils in grades K-5th, with 64% of pupils receiving a federal free meal at school. Additionally, 13% of pupils received special education services, while 2% of pupils were identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[144] The school offered full day kindergarten.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 495 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 305 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 36 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[145] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[146] The school offered full day kindergarten.

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 2016 76.5 out of 100 points. Memorial Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 81.3% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while 50% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 64.2% were on grade level in reading, while 47.3% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 80.2% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 71.5% were on grade level in reading and 66% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[147][148]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 48% of 5th grade students at Memorial Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 38% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 73% were on grade level in reading, while 53% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 88% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 60% were on grade level in reading and 60% were on grade level in mathematics.[149] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[150]

2014 School Performance Profile

Memorial Elementary School achieved a score of 80.2 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 72% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 83% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 78% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 75% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[151]

2013 School Performance Profile

Memorial Elementary School achieved a score of 68.7 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 72% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, only 77.6% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 82.57% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 85% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, just 71% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[152]

AYP History

Each school year 2003 through 2012, Memorial Elementary School achieved AYP status.[153]

PSSA History

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing.

In 2012, 85% of the students at Memorial Elementary School were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 88% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 61% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 92% of the pupils were on grade level.[154] In 2012, the school applied for and was recognized by the US Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School due to the growth of achievement of its students.

Beaver-Main Elementary School[edit]

Beaver-Main Elementary School is located at 245 Beaver Valley Road. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 94 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 38% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, none of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[155] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[156] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, Beaver-Main Elementary School reported an enrollment of just 101 pupils in grades K-5th, with 38% of pupils receiving a free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 7% of pupils received special education services, while less than 1% were identified as gifted.[157] The school provides full-day kindergarten. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[158]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Beaver-Main Elementary School reported an enrollment of 133 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 51 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 9 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[159] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[160] The school provides full-day kindergarten.

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 2016 79.1 out of 100. Beaver-Main Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 85% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while 80% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 68.8% were on grade level in reading, while 56.3% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 93.8% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 81% were on grade level in reading and 80.9% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[161][162]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 94.5% of 5th grade students at Beaver-Main Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 88% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 87.5% were on grade level in reading, while 87% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 100% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 60% were on grade level in reading and 46% were on grade level in mathematics.[163]

2014 School Performance Profile

Beaver-Main Elementary School achieved a score of 86.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 86% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 86% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 96% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 100% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 56% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[164]

2013 School Performance Profile

Beaver-Main Elementary School achieved a score of 84 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 84.6% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 100% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 96% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 88% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 80% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[165]

AYP History

In 2010 through 2012, Beaver-Main Elementary School achieved AYP status.[166] Beaver-Main Elementary School achieved AYP status each school year from 2003 through 2009.[167]

In 2012, 88% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 95% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 76% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 95% of the pupils were on grade level.[168] Beaver-Main Elementary School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education in 2009.[169]

W W Evans Memorial Elementary School[edit]

W W Evans Memorial Elementary School is located at 59 Perry Avenue. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 243 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 35% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1.6% are identified as gifted.[170] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[171] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 299 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 103 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 18 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 17:1.[172] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[173]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 2016 76.4 out of 100 points. WW Evans Memorial Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 69.4% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while 66.7% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 80% were on grade level in reading, while 71.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 94.2% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 53.9% were on grade level in reading and 58.9% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[174][175]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 63% of 5th grade students at W W Evans Memorial Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 42% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 67% were on grade level in reading, while 48% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 89% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 77% were on grade level in reading and % were on grade level in mathematics.[176] SPP withheld by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

2014 School Performance Profile

W W Evans Memorial Elementary School achieved a score of 83.1 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 70.8% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 70% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 86% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 96% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 62% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[177]

2013 School Performance Profile

W. W. Evans Memorial Elementary School achieved a score of 74.7 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 70% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 82% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 90.57% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 55% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[178] The school provides full day kindergarten.

AYP History

In 2010 through 2012, W. W. Evans Memorial Elementary School achieved AYP status.[179] In 2012, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 89% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 55% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 85% of the pupils were on grade level.[180] W. W. Evans Memorial Elementary School achieved AYP status each school year 2003 through 2010.

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, the Bloomsburg Area School District administration reported that 190 pupils or 11.3% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 42.6% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[181]

In December 2012, the District administration reported that 233 pupils or 13.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 47.6% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[182] Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-2011 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[183] The largest group of students are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent).

In December 2011, Bloomsburg Area School District administration reported that 240 pupils or 14% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 52% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2010, the district administration reported that 282 pupils or 15.7% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[184] In December 2008, the District administration reported that 261 pupils or 15.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 60% of its identified students having specific learning disabilities.

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[185] Bloomsburg Area School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2003. The District has seen a slight decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, but this has yielding no savings.

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.[186] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, 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 Special Education administration. 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 district's Special Education Department.[187][188] The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

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.[189] 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.[190] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[191] 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.[192] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[193] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[194]

The Bloomsburg Area School District received a $930,772 supplement for special education services in 2009-10.[195] For the 2010-11, 2011–12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school years, 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.[196]

In 2014, Bloomsburg Area School District received an increase to $943,147 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[197] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

In 2016, Bloomsburg Area School District received a 1.1% increase to $967,987 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[198] The increase was provided even though the percentage of special education students it serves declined to 10%.[199]

Gifted education[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School District Administration reported that 114 or 6.53% of its students were gifted in 2009.[200] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[201]

Wellness policy[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 – Policy 246.[202] 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 are 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.[203] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[204] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[205]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[206]

In 2014, President Barack Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[207][208]

The US Department of Agriculture requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[209][210]

Bloomsburg Area School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[211][212] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[213]

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health made available to each Pennsylvania high school, including Bloomsburg Area High School, the overdose antidote drug naloxone in a nasal spray. School nurses were also provided with educational materials and training developed by the National Association of School Nurses.[214] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[215][216]

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2011, the schools in Bloomsburg Area School District received $10,000 in grant funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. There funds were used to purchase equipment to compliment existing physical education curriculum and to be able to monitor heart rates and evaluate through fitnessgram testing.[217] Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5-year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools.

Budget[edit]

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

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[218]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Bloomsburg Area School District was $47,557 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $17,287 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $64,845.[219] Bloomsburg Area School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[220] After 40 years of service, a teacher can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[221]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Bloomsburg Area School District was $41,841.85 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $14,221.35 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $62,063.20.[222] In 2011, the average teacher salary in Bloomsburg Area School District was $49,046.17 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $12,622.96 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $61,669.[223] According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[224]

In 2009, Bloomsburg Area School District reported employing 158 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $50,022 and a top salary of $99,000.[225] The teacher’s work day is 7.5 hours with a 30-minute duty-free lunch and a preparation period. The teachers work 207 days, with 182 student instructional days. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits. The Bloomsburg Area Teachers Union is given 10 paid days to conduct union business.[226]

In 2007, Bloomsburg Area School District employed 132 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $48,412 for 180 days worked.[227] 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.[228] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[229] The contract expires in June 2011. 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.[230]

On September 18, 2009, a hearing was held at the Bloomsburg Area School District, by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board regarding an impasse between the Bloomsburg Area Educational Support Professionals Association and the Board of Education. A fact finding report was issued by the labor board.[231]

Administration costs Bloomsburg Area School District administrative costs per pupil were $651.64 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[232] In 2004, the school board awarded a five-year superintendent contract to James T. Kelly with a salary of $92,500 and annual raise of $1,500. Additionally, an extensive benefits package was provided.[233] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the school board association, the average salary for a superintendent for the 2007–08 school year was $122,165.[234]

Reserves In 2008, the Bloomsburg Area School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $3,024,594.00.[235] In 2010, Bloomsburg Area School District Administration reported an increase to $3,205,043 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District also reported $$1,500,000 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. By 2012, the District's reserved had increased to $8,743,583. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. By law the state limits the total unreserved-undesignated fund balance at 8% of the annual budget for school districts that have budgets over $19 million a year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[236] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[237] In 2014, Bloomsburg Area School Board reported reserves of $10,918,819 .[238]

Per pupil spending In 2008, the district administration reported that per pupil spending was $11,671 which ranked 320th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending was $11,647.20 which ranked 437th in Pennsylvania.[239] The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[240]

Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[241] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[242]

Audit In January 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school administration and school board. It found that a teacher had a lapsed certification.[243] The District was audited again in July 2013. Multiple findings were reported to the School Board.[244]

Tuition Students who live in the Bloomsburg Area 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 Bloomsburg Area 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 Bloomsburg Area School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $7,761, High School - $8,755.[245]

Bloomsburg Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax of 1.56% (among the highest in the Commonwealth), a property tax, an Occupation Privilege tax - $10, 2 per capita taxes of $5 each per year, annual local services tax (LST) $52 for Bloomsburg, Hemlock Township, Montour Township, LST $10 for Beaver Township, Catawissa Township, Main Township, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the District. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[246] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year plus they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[247]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Bloomsburg Area School District receives 36.7% of its annual revenue from the state.[248]

For the 2016-17 school year, Bloomsburg Area School District received $5,658,643 in Basic Education Funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a 3% increase over 2015-16 funding to the District. The highest percentage of BEF increase in Columbia County was 3% awarded to Benton Area School District and Bloomsburg Area under the state’s Basic Education Funding formula. For the 2016-17 school year, Pennsylvania increased its public education spending to a record high of $5,895 billion. It was a $200 million increase, 3.51% increase over the 2015-16 appropriation.[249] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[250] The state also paid $492 million to the school employee social security fund and another $2.064 billion to the teacher’s pension fund.[251] Statewide Conestoga Valley School District received a 13.3% increase in state BEF funding. Five PA public school districts received an increase of 10% or greater in Basic Education funding over their 2015-16 funding.

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $2,634,522 to Bloomsburg Area School District, in January 2016.[252] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[253] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[254] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in Basic Eductaion funding under Governor Wolf.[255][256] Bloomsburg Area School District also received another $194,119 in state Ready To Learn Grant Funding. In April 2016, Governor Wolf announced his finalized dispersement of 2015-16 state Basic Education Funding. Bloomsburg Area School District received a 1.77% increase for a total funding of $5,653,406.[257] This is $75,784 less than the District was to receive by law under the state’s Fair Funding Formula approved in 2015.[258][259] The highest increase in funding statewide was awarded by Governor Wolf to Wilkinsburg Borough School District which got a 44.1% increase in state Basic Education Funding. The average BEF increase among the Commonwealth’s 500 public school districts for 2015-16 was 2.21%. In Columbia County, the highest percentage increase in state funding was awarded to Berwick Area School District - 2.62%.

For the 2014-15 school year, Bloomsburg Area School District will receive $5,370,738 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $184,285 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[260] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[261]

For the 2013-14 school year, Bloomsburg Area School District received a 1.8% increase or $5,370,190 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $$93,444 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Bloomsburg Area School District will receive $$92,667 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Columbia County, Southern Columbia Area School District received the highest percentage increase at 2.1%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[262] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[263]

For the 2012-13 school year, the District received $5,276,746.[264] 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. Bloomsburg Area School District will receive $$92,667 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[265] This amount was 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, Bloomsburg Area School District received a $5,276,746 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[266] Additionally, the Bloomsburg Area School District received $92,667, in Accountability Block Grant funding along with supplemental funding for special education services. 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.[267] 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.[268] In 2010, Bloomsburg Area School District reported that 725 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[269]

For the 2010–11 school year, the state allocated the Bloomsburg Area School District a 4.48% increase in basic education funding, for a total of $5,809,008. The highest increase, among Columbia County school districts, went to Southern Columbia Area School District with a 5.77% increase. One hundred fifty school districts received a base 2% increase in state funding. The highest increase in the state went to Kennett Consolidated School District located in Chester County, which received a 23.65% increase in state basic education funding.[270] Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each public school district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[271]

In the 2009–2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided Bloomsburg Area School District with a 5.37% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,560,052. Among Columbia County school districts, the largest increase a 6.11%, went to Berwick Area School District. In Pennsylvania, fifteen school districts received basic education funding increases over 10% in 2009. The largest increase in state funding was awarded to Muhlenberg School District of Berks County which received 22.31% increase in 2009–10.[272] The amount of increase each school district receives is set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[273]

In 2008-09, the state Basic Education Funding to the Boomsburg Area School District was $5,276,746.46.

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004–2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010–11 the district applied for and received $251,521 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten.[274][275]

  • 2009–10 – $251,521 for full-day kindergarten for 154 pupils for the 5th year.[276]
  • 2008–09 – $251,521 for full-day kindergarten.[277]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[278]

Bloomsburg Area School District received $234,078 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, transportation reimbursement, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Bloomsburg Area School District was denied funding in 2006-07. In 2007-08 the district administration did not apply for funding. The district received $83,441 in 2008-09.[279] Among the public school districts in Columbia County, the largest grant was awarded to Berwick Area School District $403,446. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Other grants[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants; PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[280] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[281] Hybrid Learning grants;[282] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School District received an extra $1,223,385 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[283] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[284] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like: acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is provide each child in public schools with "Highly Quality" teachers and principals as defined by the state.[285] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[286] Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Bloomsburg Area School District received $85,133 in federal Title II funding.[287] In 2014-15, Bloomsburg Area School District applied for and received $81,820.[288]

English language learners grant[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to assist in educating immigrant children and children who are identified as limited English proficient.[289] Upon registering for school a language survey is done for all new enrollment pupils, typically in kindergarten or preschool. They identify the primary language spoken at home. This data is collected and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which in turn notifies the federal government.[290]

In 2012-13 - Bloomsburg Area School District received $5,703 in Title III funding for English language learners.[291]

Race to the Top[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[292] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[293][294] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate. Pennsylvania was not approved for this federal grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[295]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2016-17 were again raised by the school board at 401.8000 mills.[296] 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.[297] 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.[298]

The average yearly property tax paid by Columbia County residents amounts to about 2.72% of their yearly income. Columbia County is ranked 776th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[309] 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%).[310] 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.[311]

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 it 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, increasing rising health care 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.[312] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Index.[313] 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 taking into account on the PSERS contribution rate.[314]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Bloomsburg Area School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.[315]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Bloomsburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[322]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Bloomsburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[323]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Bloomsburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the 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 their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[324]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Bloomsburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. 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.[325]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Bloomsburg Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Bloomsburg Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[326]

According to a state report, for the 2011-12 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. One school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[327]

For the 2010-11 school year, Bloomsburg Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget.[328] 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.[329]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Bloomsburg Area School District was $167 per approved permanent primary residence. In the District, 2,965 property owners applied for the tax relief. In Columbia County, Benton Area School District received the highest relief at $225 for 2010. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Columbia County 71% of eligible property owners applied for tax relief in 2009.[330] 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.[331] This was the second year they were the top recipient.

Enrollment and Consolidation[edit]

The enrollment at Bloomsburg Area School District is projected to decline significantly by 2019. In 2012, enrollment was 1,629 pupils. Standard and Poors study found that an optimal school district size, to conserve administrative costs, was 3000 pupils. Consolidation of administrations with an adjacent school district would achieve substantial administrative cost savings for people in both communities.[332] According to a 2009 proposal by Governor Edward Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improving high school student academic achievement, enriching the curriculum programs or to reducing local property taxes.[333] Pennsylvania Department of Education data shows that from 1999–2000 to 2008–09 there has been a 12 percent increase in public school staff even as there was a 1 percent decline in public school enrollment. Pennsylvania schools added 17,345 professional employees and 15,582 support workers over this time, while enrollment declined by 26,960.[334] Total public school enrollment in 2009 was 1,787,351 pupils. Consolidation of two central administrations into one would not require the closing of any local schools. The Governor's proposal called for the savings to be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.[335]

In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation/closing of any schools.[336]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of public school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[337] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[338]

From 2000 through 2010, rural Pennsylvania public school district enrollment, as a whole, has decreased by 8 percent.[339] In 2010, there were 726,417 children in rural Pennsylvania, or 21 percent of the total rural population. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children in rural counties decreased 7 percent. The decline in the number of children impacted most rural counties with 42 of Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties experiencing a decline. Cameron County, Elk County and Sullivan County experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of more than 21 percent in all three counties. Columbia County's live birth rate was 720 births in 1990. In 2000, Columbia County's live birth rate declined to 614 births while in 2011, the birth rate was 620 babies.[340] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Extracurriculars[edit]

Bloomsburg Area School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and interscholastic sports. The school board sets policies regarding eligibility to participate in these activities.[341][342] Varsity and junior varsity athletic activities are under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and the regional Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference.[343] The Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference is a voluntary association of 25 PIAA high schools within the central Pennsylvania region.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the District, including those who attend a private school, a public cyber charter school, a public charter school and those that are homeschooled, are all 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.[344]

Sports[edit]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[345][346]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [347]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°00′16″N 76°26′35″W / 41.00446°N 76.44302°W / 41.00446; -76.44302