Coudersport Area School District

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Coudersport Area School District
Map of Potter County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
698 Dwight Street
Coudersport, Pennsylvania, Potter County 16915-1638
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent

Alanna R Huck, BA Salary $94,813 (2013), (contract July 1, 2013-June 30, 2018)[1]

Richard F. Toner M'Ed, former Superintendent $96,900 2009
Administrator

John A Abplanalp, Business Manager[2]
Traci Budd, Director of Curriculum
Steve Gerner, Director of Buildings & Grounds

Richard Neefe, Director of Food Services
Principal Sean Reams, ES
Principal Stephen Mongillo, JS/HS
Staff 53 non teaching staff members 2013[3]
Faculty

57 teachers (2014)[4]

61 teachers 2010[5]
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education students
Pupils

796 pupils (2015)[6]
821 (2014)[7]
889 (2012)
854 (2010)[8]

936 (2006)[9]
 • Kindergarten 63 (2013), 53 (2010)
 • Grade 1 54 (2013), 60
 • Grade 2 74 (2013), 66
 • Grade 3 56 (2013), 60
 • Grade 4 63 (2013), 70
 • Grade 5 69 (2013), 74
 • Grade 6 57 (2013), 76
 • Grade 7 75 (2013), 72
 • Grade 8 71 (2013), 53
 • Grade 9 75 (2013), 66
 • Grade 10 56 (2013), 66
 • Grade 11 50 (2013), 64
 • Grade 12 58 (2013), 75 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to decline to 620 by 2020 [10]
Language English
Color(s) Purple, White
Mascot Falcons
Budget

$12.18 million (2014-15)[11]

$11.46 million budget 2012-13 [12]
Per pupil spending $13,538 (2008)
Per pupil spending $12,699.24 (2010)
Website

The Coudersport Area School District is a small rural, public school district which covers the Borough of Coudersport and the southern and western portions of Allegany Township, Eulalia Township, Hebron Township, Homer Township, Summit Township and Sweden Township in Potter County, Pennsylvania. Coudersport Area School District encompasses approximately 214 square miles (550 km2). According to 2000 US Census Bureau data, the District served a resident population of 5,892. By 2010, the District's population declined to 5,692 people.[13] The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 90.9% high school graduates and 23.9% college graduates.[14] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania and one of seven operating in Potter County.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 41.9% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[15] In 2009, Coudersport Area School District residents' per capita income was $20,176 while, their median family income was $47,180.[16] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [17] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[18] In Potter County, the median household income was $39,198.[19] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[20]

Per Coudersport Area School District officials, in school year 2007-08, the Coudersport Area School District provided basic educational services to just 892 pupils. It employed: 69 teachers, 35 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 11 administrators. In 2014, the District reported having 812 pupils enrolled. It employed: 66 teachers, 30 support staff and 8 administrators.[21] a

Coudersport Area School District operates two schools: Coudersport Junior Senior High School (7th-12th) and Coudersport Elementary School (K-6th). High school students may choose to attend Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit IU9 provides Coudersport Area School District with a wide variety of services including specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services as well as professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Coudersport Area School District is governed by a 9-member locally elected school board that serves 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 President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, (renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[23] The school board is required by state law to post a financial report on the district in its website by March of each school year.[24]

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 Coudersport Area School Board. The Coudersport Area School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[25] Pursuant to Act 141 of 2012 which amended the Pennsylvania School Code, all school districts that have hired superintendents on/after the fall of 2012 are required to develop objective performance standards and post them on the district’s website.[26] In 2015, Coudersport Area School District administration had not posted the goals in their website.[27]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "D" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[28]

Academic achievement[edit]

In October 2015, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported that Coudersport Area Elementary School was among the 561 academically challenged schools that have been overlooked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[29][30] He also reported the Pennsylvania Department of Education failed to take any action to remediate the poorly performing schools to raise student academic achievement or to provide them with targeted professional assistance.[31]

Statewide ranking history

Coudersport Area School District ranking declined to 311th out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts for student academic achievement by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2015.[32] The ranking was based on the last three years of student performance on the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and science. and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[33] 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). Austin Area School District was excluded from the ranking due to very low enrollment. The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.[34]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Coudersport Area School District, was in the 43rd percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) [40]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Coudersport Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[41] In 2011, Coudersport 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 Pennsylvania public school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[42] Coudersport Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2003 to 2010.[43]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, Coudersport Area School District’s graduation rate was 88.89%.[44]

  • 2014 - 87.9%.[45]
  • 2013 - 82.6% [46]
  • 2012 - 91%.[47]
  • 2011 - 84%.[48]
  • 2010 - 83%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[49]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

High school[edit]

Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School is located at 698 Dwight Street, Coudersport. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 364 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 40.89% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 8.8% of pupils received special education services, while 8% of pupils were identified as gifted.[53] The school employed teachers.[54] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[55]

In 2014, enrollment was reported as 385 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 36.6% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 8% of pupils received special education services, while 8.8% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 27.[56] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School reported an enrollment of 396 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 145 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 27 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[57] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[58]

2015 School Performance Profile

Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School achieved 73.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 60% of the School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 59% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 67.35% 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]

The PDE reported that 40% of 8th grade students at Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 8% of 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level skills. In science, 56% of the school’s 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 49% were on grade level in reading, while 28.3% showed on grade level math skills.

2014 School Performance Profile

Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School achieved 71.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 65.9% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 64.6% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. In writing, 65% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[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]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[65] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[66][67]

2013 School Performance Profile

Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School achieved 77.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 83% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 74% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 59.8% showed on grade level science understanding.[68] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[69]

AYP History[edit]

In 2012, Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School declined to Warning status Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to missing all academic metrics measured.[70] In 2010 and 2011, Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School achieved AYP status.[71]

PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[72]

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.[73]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 57% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[74]
  • 2011 - 70% (12% below basic). State - 69.1%[75]
  • 2010 - 68%. State - 67% (74 pupils)[76]
  • 2009 - 76%, State - 65%[77]
  • 2008 - 69%, State - 65%[78]
  • 2007 - 79%, State - 65%[79]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 40% on grade level (43% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[80]
  • 2011 - 50% (30% below basic). State - 60.3%[81]
  • 2010 - 42%, State - 67%[82]
  • 2009 - 58%, State - 56%[83]
  • 2008 - 55%, State - 55%[84]
  • 2007 - 66%, State - 53%[85]
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 40% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[86]
  • 2011 - 46% (8% below basic). State - 40%[87]
  • 2010 - 45%, State - 40% [88]
  • 2009 - 48%, State - 40% [89]
  • 2008 - 45%, State - 39%

Science in Motion Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[90] University of Pittsburgh at Bradford 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, 25% of the Coudersport Area Junior-Senior High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the [Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education] or community colleges.[91] 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.[92] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment - The high school does not offer the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits Pennsylvania students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. Over 400 school districts in Pennsylvania offer this state-funded program.[93][94]

AP Courses Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School does not offer Advanced Placement courses which permit students to earn minimal cost college credits while in high school.

Graduation Requirements[edit]

The Coudersport Area School Board has determined that in order to graduate students must earn 26.5 credits, including: English 4 credits, Social Studies/Government 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Health 1 credit, Physical Education 2 credits, Independent Living 0.5 credit and Electives 7 credits.[95]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[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, for the graduating class of 2017, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams.[98][99][100] 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.[101] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Coudersport Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 504. The Math average score was 482. The Writing average score was 465.[102][103] 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.[104]

In 2013, 38 Coudersport Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 489. The Math average score was 457. The Writing average score was 468. 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.[105]

In 2012, 38 Coudersport Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 507. The Math average score was 500. The Writing average score was 471. 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, 54 Coudersport Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 469. The Math average score was 489. The Writing average score was 457.[106] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[107] 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.[108]

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a research arm of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, 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.[109]

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.

Eighth Grade[edit]

PSSA History

Seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and science. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[110] Testing in science began in 2007. 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 goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[111] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[72] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[112]

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 66% on grade level (19% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 57% (22% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 73%, State - 55%
  • 2009 - 53%, State - 57%
  • 2008 - 55%, State - 50%

Seventh Grade[edit]

Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Coudersport Area School District did not implement a no cost dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school.[114] The process identifies students at risk for dropping out by examining the pupil’s: attendance, behavior and course grades. Interventions are implemented to assist at-risk pupils to remain in school. The program is funded by federal and private dollars.[115]

Elementary School[edit]

Coudersport Area Elementary School is located at 802 Vine Street, Coudersport. In 2015, the School's enrollment was 412 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 44.66% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 17.7% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[116] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 89% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[117] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2014, Coudersport Area Elementary School's enrollment was 436 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 40.8% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 16.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[118] 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.[119] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Coudersport Area Elementary School reported an enrollment of 469 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 166 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. Coudersport Area Elementary School employed 34 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[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]

In the 2008-09 school year, Coudersport Area School District initiated full-day kindergarten[122] Proponents of full day kindergarten claim it will reduce special education numbers and it will raise primary student academic achievement especially in reading and math.[123]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 56% of 5th grade students at Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 33% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 50% were on grade level in reading, while 43% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 86% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 71% were on grade level in reading and 63% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 51% were on grade level in reading and 45% were on grade level in mathematics.[124] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th (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 (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[125]

2014 School Performance Profile

Coudersport Area Elementary School achieved a score of 69 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 66% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 88% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 76% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 77% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 40% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[126]

2013 School Performance Profile

Coudersport Area Elementary School achieved a score of 76.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 71% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 74% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 80.84% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 88% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 68% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[127]

AYP History[edit]

In 2011 and 2012, Coudersport Area Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[128] Coudersport Area Elementary School achieved AYP in 2010 and 2009. The attendance rate was 95% for both years.[129][130]

PSSA history

Each year, in the Spring, in order to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Law, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[131] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[132][133][134] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[135] The first cohort of children who attended Accountability Block Grant funded full-day kindergarten reached third grade and took the PSSAs in the spring of 2008.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 91%, (5% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 96%, (0% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 87%, (6% below basic). State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, Coudersport Area School District administration reported that 110 pupils or 13.4% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 33.6% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[137]

In December 2012, the Coudersport Area School District administration reported that 110 pupils or 12.3% of the district's pupils received special education services, with 44.5% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[138] In December 2010, the District administration reported that 98 pupils or 11% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 43.9% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 102 pupils or 11.9% of the district's pupils received Special education services.[139]

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.[140] Coudersport Area School District has seen an increase in the number of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

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 estimated 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.[141] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[142] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[143] The state requires Coudersport Area School District to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[144] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that public schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[145]

Coudersport Area School District received a $515,086 supplement for special education services in 2010.[146] For the 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 2010-11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[147][148] In 2014-15 Coudersport Area School District received $529,043.[149] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

In 2013, the state's Special Education Funding Reform Commission provided a report on the state of funding for special education in the Commonwealth.[150] Funding for special education programs is borne largely on a local basis at 60%, with the state contributing $1 billion or 30% and the federal government providing 10% of the funding.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 52 or 5.92% of its students were gifted in 2009.[151] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor. This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses. 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.[152]

School Safety and Bullying policy[edit]

The Coudersport Area School District administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the District in 2013. Additionally, there were no sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in two incidents at the schools.[153] [154] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online. Nationally, nearly 20% of pupils report being bullied at school.[155]

Coudersport Area School District administration reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district in 2009.[156][157]

All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. Coudersport ASD has posted the policy online.[158] All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[159] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[160]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[161]

Coudersport Area School District did not participate in the 2012 and 2103 Safe Schools grants or School Resource OFficer grants offered by the State.

Enrollment[edit]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, there were 854 students enrolled in K-12 in school year 2010. There were 72 students in the Class of 2009. The senior class of 2010 has 73 students. In 2014, enrollment had decline to 821 pupils. Enrollment in Coudersport Area School District is projected to continue to sharply decline for the foreseeable future.[162]

The District's administrative overhead costs were $1,069 per pupil in 2008. The District ranked 48th (top 10%) of Pennsylvania's 500 school district for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[163] In a Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee study on school consolidation, 63% of the superintendents that responded expressed agreement that consolidation with another district could help them provide additional academic enrichment opportunities for their students.[164] In 2009, Governor Edward Rendell proposed consolidating to 100 public school districts. Consolidation of the administrations with adjacent school districts would achieve substantial administrative cost savings for people in both communities. These excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging academic achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to substantially reduce property taxes.[165] Consolidation of multiple central administrations into one would not necessitate the closing of any schools. Neighboring Port Allegany School District has an enrollment of less than 950 with declining enrollment projected through 2015. In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[166] In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.[167] In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants released a report finding that the state would save hundreds of millions of tax dollars, by cutting the number of school administrations in half through consolidation, with no impact on programs offered to students.[168]

Over the 2000-2010 decade, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment decreased by 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline was in western and northern Pennsylvania, where rural school districts had a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania were projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[169] In 2010, there were 726,417 children in rural Pennsylvania, or 21 percent of the total rural population. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children in rural counties decreased 7 percent. The decline in the number of children impacted most rural counties with 42 of Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties experiencing a decline. Cameron County, Elk County and Sullivan County experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of more than 21 percent in all three counties. Potter County's live birth rate was 242 births in 1990. Adams County's live birth rate in 2000 was 223 births, while in 2011 it had declined to 201 babies.[170] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children. Pennsylvania’s birth rate has been declining for two decades. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 1990, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 171,053.[171] In 2000, Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 145,874.[172] Finally in 2011, the State’s birth rate declined further to 142,021.[173] From 2000 to 2009, the number of babies born in rural counties declined 5 percent.[174]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000.

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.[175]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Coudersport Area School District was $49,549 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received grew substantially to $21,343 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $70,893.[176] Coudersport 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.)[177] 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.[178]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Coudersport Area School District was $46,367 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $16,389.93 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $61,757.49.[179] The District employed 70 teachers and administrators in 2011. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[180]

In 2009, Coudersport Area School District employed over 70 teachers and the average teacher salary in the district was $51,723 for 180 instructional days worked.[181] The beginning salary was $37,077 and the top salary was reported as $80,420.[182] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. Additionally, Coudersport Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, professional development reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits. Teachers work a 7-hour, 30-minute day that includes a 30-minute duty-free lunch. Teachers receive daily prep time for grading and curriculum work. The union heads receive 2 paid days per year to conduct union business.[183] According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[184][185]

Per pupil spending In 2008, Coudersport Area School District reported spending $13,538 per pupil which ranked 133rd in the state.[186] In 2010, the per pupil spending was $12,699.24.[187] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[188] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[189] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[190]

Reserves In 2009, Coudersport Area School District reported $1,551,667 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The 2009 designated fund balance was reported as $191,359.[191] In 2010, Coudersport Area Administration reported an increase to $2,116,493 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District reported $822,115.00 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[192] In 2014, the Board reported having reserves of over $4.7 million.

Administration In February 2010, Superintendent Rick Toner resigned amidst contentious issues with the school board.[193] Coudersport Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1,059.80 per pupil, which ranked 49th out of 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[194] In June 2013, the Board approved a 2.5% increase to all Act 93 (administrators) and confidential employees for the 2013-2014 school year.[195]

Audits In September 2010, Coudersport Area School District was audited by the Pennsylvania Auditor General. Several findings were cited, including issues about professional credentials. Information pertaining to the assignment in question was submitted to the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality (BSLTQ), Department of Education, for its review. The finding was confirmed and the District was fined.[196] In a 2009 performance audit, several findings were noted.[197]

Tuition Students who live in the District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Coudersport 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 District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,235.01, High School - $9,631.05.[198]

Coudersport Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%, an annual Occupation Privilege Tax $52, an Occupation Tax based on assessment, a per capita taxes $10, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. State and Federal grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the individual's wealth.[199] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year. Additionally, they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which fund local public schools.[200] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[201][202]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Coudersport Area School District receives 26.8% of its annual revenue from the state.[203]

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $1,965,183 to Coudersport Area School District, in January 2016.[204] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[205] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[206] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in funding.[207][208]

For the 2014-15 school year, Coudersport Area School District received $4,087,380 in State Basic Education funding. The District also received $104,068 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.[209] 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.[210]

In the 2013-2014 school year, the Couderport Area School District received a 1.4% increase or $4,087,380 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $66,554 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Coudersport Area School District received $49,722 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Potter County, Austin Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 22.5%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[211] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[212] As a part of the education budget, the state provided the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[213]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Coudersport Area School District received $4,080,567.[214] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block grant program. Coudersport Area received $49,722. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[215] 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 the 2011-12 school year, Coudersport Area School District received a $4,030,845 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[216][217] Additionally, the Coudersport Area School District received $49,722 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount was a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[218] 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.[219] In 2010, Coudersport Area School District reported that 357 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[220]

For the 2010-11 school year, the Coudersport Area School District received a 5.50% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $4,363,178 payment.[221] It was the highest percentage increase in BEF in Lycoming County for 2010-11. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010-11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010-11. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was determined by then Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education, Gerald Zahorchak, through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[222] This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.[223]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.6% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $4,135,656. In Potter County, the majority of school districts received a 2% increase in funding in 2009. Oswayo Valley School District received the highest state education funding increase in Potter County at 3.01%. The Pennsylvania Department of Education gave 15 school districts an increase of Basic Education Funding of over 10% in 2009-10. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in 2009.[224] The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education, Gerald Zahorchak, through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[225] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[226][227]

In 2008 -09, the state Basic Education Funding to the District, was $4,030,845.47. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 321 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[228]

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, Coudersport Area School District applied for and received $134,957 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the second year.[229][230]

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.[231]

Coudersport Area School District received $104,068 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive. In 2015-16, Coudersport Are School District received $111,185.[232]

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. Coudersport Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. Coudersport Area School District received $103,860 in 2007-08 and $45,413 in 2008-09 for a total of $149,273 in state funding.[233] In Potter County the highest award was given to Coudersport Area School District. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

Coudersport Area School District is participating in a collaborative environmental education program called "Project Wet". Funding is from a federal grant. It will fund teacher preparation and be used to purchase water montoring equipment for the students to use in a hands on science curriculum[234]

Other grants[edit]

Coudersport Area School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania's Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[235] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[236] 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[237] Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; nor the federal 21st Century learning grants for after school programs.

Supplemental Educational Services Funding[edit]

Supplemental Educational Services is a federal initiative for free tutoring and part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In 2010, Coudersport Area School District received $121,085 for 94 pupils.[238] Academic instruction in reading, math or science is provided before or after the normal school hours. Such instruction is designed to increase the academic achievement of students in Title I schools that have not met state targets for student progress for three or more years. Services may be offered to low-income students through public schools, districts, charter schools, higher education agencies, for-profit, non-profit or faith-based agencies that are state approved providers.

Federal grants[edit]

Coudersport Area School District received $702,785 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[239] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[240] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top Grant[edit]

Coudersport 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.[241] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[242] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[243]

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 to provide each child in public schools with “Highly Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[244] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[245] 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, Coudersport Area School District received $39,793 in federal Title II funding.[246] In 2014-15, Coudersport Area School District applied for and received $37,520.[247]

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.[248] 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.[249]

In 2012-13 - Coudersport Area School District received $543 in Title III funding for English language learners.[250] For 2014-15, Coudersport Area School District received $855 in Title III funding.[251]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Coudersport Area School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[252] After the review of the information, the District was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Coudersport Area School Board set property tax rates, in 2015-16, at 42.8400 mills.[253] 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.[254] 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. Unlike other states, under Pennsylvania state tax policy, natural gas and oil pipelines are exempted from property taxes.[255] There are a plethora of gas pipelines in the District due to marcellus shale gas development.[256] Pipeline companies prohibit development within the 100 foot wide right-of-way, there by limiting future development options for the landowner. This limits future potential property tax revenues for the school district, by constraining future land development.

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.[257] When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[258] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[259]

According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[270] In 2012 and 2014, the average yearly property tax paid by Potter County residents amounts to about 2.95% of their yearly income. Potter County is ranked 624th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[271]

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 2010-2011 school year is 1.4 percent, but it can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as local 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.[272] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[273] Several exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[274][275]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Coudersport Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[276]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Coudersport 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.[286]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Coudersport Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[287] 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.[288]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Coudersport Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[289]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Coudersport 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.[290]

For the 2011-12 school year, Coudersport Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, Coudersport 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.[291]

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. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[292]

For the 2010-11 school year, Coudersport Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the District's budget.[293]

For the 2009-10 school budget, Coudersport Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 of 2006 Index.[294] 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.[295] For the 2010-11 school year budget the Coudersport School Board did not seek any Act 1 exceptions.[296]

Property Tax Relief[edit]

In 2013, Coudersport Area School District approved 1,453 homestead properties received $173 in gaming related, property tax relief.[297] The decline in amount was related to an increased number of residents applying for tax relief and a decline in table games tax revenues from table games gambling. In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling, for the Coudersport Area School District was $188 per approved permanent primary residence. In the District, 1,339 property owners applied for the tax relief.[298] In 2010 within Potter County, the highest reported amount went to Austin Area School District set at $324 per approved homestead for 409 recipients. The property tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. In Potter County, 79.53% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[299]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Coudersport Area School District was $217 per approved permanent primary residence. This was among the lowest amounts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In the district, 1159 property owners applied for the tax relief. 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.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, so people who make substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate.[300]

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%).[301]

Wellness policy[edit]

Coudersport Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[302] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 – 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[303]

The Federal legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[304] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Coudersport Area School District offers both a free or reduced-price school breakfast and a 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.[305] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[306]

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.[307] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch.[308] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93.

In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[309] The Food and Drug Administration requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[310][311]

Coudersport Area School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. A nurse is 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.[312][313] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[314]

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health distributed to each Pennsylvania 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.[315] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[316]

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2009, Coudersport Area School District received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. Coudersport Area Junior Senior High School received $9,325 which was used to support the "Falcon Fitness Frenzy" physical activity program.[317] 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. The Coudersport Area Elementary School received a $10,000 Healthy High 5 grant in 2011. The funding was used to support its Family Fitness 4 Fun program.[318]

Health eTools program

The District participated in Highmark Foundation’s Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools grant which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[319] Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued in 2013.[320]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Coudersport Area School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive sports program. The eligibility to participate is determined by school board policy. Coudersport Area has an extensive Athletic policy.[321] The District has a Cooperative Sports Agreement with Austin Area School District which allows Autin area students to participate in the district's sports programs.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[322]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[323][324][325]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[326]

Coudersport Area School District does not provide its athletics disclosure form on its web site.[327] Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[328]

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.[329][330]

The Coudersport Area School District funds:

Varsity
Junior High Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2014[331]

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External links[edit]