Daniel Boone Area School District

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Daniel Boone Area School District
Map of Berks County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
2144 Weavertown Road
Southeastern Berks County
Douglassville, Pennsylvania, Berks County 19518
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed Amity Intrmd Center (2013), Amity Primary Center (2013), Monocacy Kdg Ctr (2008), Roosevelt El Center (1990)[1]
Superintendent James Harris
President Michael Wolfe
Administrator
  • Loren Small, Business Manager
  • Mary Beth Kiesel, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Shelly Mieczkowski, Director of Special Education
  • Scott Matz, Director of Educational Technology
  • Casey Blankenbiller, Buildings and Grounds Supervisor
  • George Schmidt, Director of Athletics and Activities
  • Michael Miller, Asst. Business Manager
Principal Melanie Hefter, BEC/MEC
Principal Dane Miller, AEC
Principal Jenny Rexrode, MS
Principal Preston McKnight, HS
Staff 276 non teaching staff members 2011
Faculty 230 teachers (2011)[2]
Grades K-12
Age range 5 years old Kindergarten - 21 years old for special education students
Pupils 3,928 pupils (2011)[3]
 • Grade 3 227
 • Grade 4 327
 • Grade 5 316
 • Grade 6 326
 • Grade 7 304
 • Grade 8 313
 • Grade 9 293
 • Grade 10 295
 • Grade 11 308
 • Grade 12 308
Student to teacher ratio 15.05:1
Language English
Color(s) Carolina Blue and White
Athletics Cheer, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Tennis, Softball, ettc.
Mascot Blazers
Nickname Boone
Rival Exeter
Average SAT scores 1493[citation needed]
Newspaper The Boone Tribune
Yearbook Orion
Budget

$52,630,781 (2013–14)[4] 50,776,154 (2012–13)[5]
$49,479,072 (2011–12)[6]
$49,980,958 (2010–11)[7]
$41,502,000 (2009–10)[8]
$39,608,000 (2008–09)
$36,794,000 (2007–08)

$34,162,000 (2006–07)
Per pupil spending $11,381 (2008)
Per pupil spending $12,400.53 (2011)
Website

The Daniel Boone Area School District covers the Borough of Birdsboro and Amity Township and Union Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 39 square miles (100 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 17,384. By 2010, the district's population increased to 21,270 people.[9] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $23,825, while the median family income was $63,824.[10] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [11] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[12] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[13]

According to Daniel Boone Area School District officials, in school year 2009-10 the District provided basic educational services to 3,973 pupils. It employed: 279 teachers, 222 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 13 administrators. Daniel Boone Area School District received more than $14.4 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.

Daniel Boone Area School District operates Daniel Boone High School (9-12), Daniel Boone Middle School (6-8), Amity Elementary Center (K-5), Birdsboro Elementary Center (3-5) and Monocacy Elementary Center (K-2). In 2009, 100% of the kindergarteners in Daniel Boone Area School District attended full-day kindergarten. This program was later reduced to half-time by order of the Board of Directors due to budgetary constraints.[14] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

Governance[edit]

Daniel Boone Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve without compensation for a term of four years), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[15] 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.

Academic achievement[edit]

Daniel Boone Area School District was ranked 225th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2013.[16] The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and science.[17] The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

  • 2012 - 255th [18]
  • 2008 - 239th
  • 2007 - 209th out of 501 school districts.[19]
Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Daniel Boone Area School District ranked 482nd. In 2012, the District was ranked 490th. [20] The editor describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[21]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Daniel Boone Area School District achieved AYP status.[22] In 2011, Daniel Boone 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.[23] Daniel Boone 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.[24]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2012, Daniel Boone Area School District’s graduation rate slipped to 88%.[25] In 2011, the District's graduation rate was 89%.[26] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Daniel Boone Area High School's rate was 89% for 2010.[27]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High School[edit]

Daniel Boone Area High School is located at 501 Chestnut Street, Birdsboro. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the High School reported an enrollment of 1,205 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 136 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school is not federally designated Title I school. The school employed 57 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 21:1.[32] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[33]

In 2012, Daniel Boone Area High School declined to School Improvement level I due to chronic, lagging student achievement. In 2011, the School was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.[34] Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes. Additionally, the High School's administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school district must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[35] The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[36]

PSSA results

11th Grade Reading:

  • 2012 - 75% on grade level, (10% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[37]
  • 2011 - 71% (12% below basic). State - 69.1% [38]
  • 2010 - 61% (20% below basic). State - 66% [39]
  • 2009 - 62% (17% below basic). State - 65% [40]
  • 2008 - 66% (15% below basic). State - 65% [41]
  • 2007 - 69% (14% below basic). State - 65% [42]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 74% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[43]
  • 2011 - 66% (15% below basic). State - 60.3% [44]
  • 2010 - 62% (22% below basic). State - 59% [45]
  • 2009 - 53% (26% below basic). State - 56% [46]
  • 2008 - 56% (27% below basic). State - 56% [47]
  • 2007 - 46% (28% below basic). State - 53% [48]

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 45% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[49]
  • 2011 - 39% (12% below basic). State - 40% [50]
  • 2010 - 35% (14% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 37% (14% below basic). State - 40% [51]
  • 2008 - 37% (14% below basic). State - 39% [52]

Science in Motion Daniel Boone Area High School does not take 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.[53] Elementary School worked with Elizabethtown College to provide the enrichment experiences.

College Remediation Rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 29% of the Daniel Boone Area 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.[54] 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.[55] 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 Daniel Boone Area High School does not offer the Pennsylvania Dual Enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. The program is offered through over 400 school districts with the assistance of a state grant.

Graduation requirements[edit]

Among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, graduation requirements widely vary. Daniel Boone Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 24.65 credits to graduate, including: a required class every year in math 4 credits, English 4 credits, social studies 4 credits, science 3 credits, Fine Arts - 0,5 credits, Drivers Ed 0.33 credits, Computer 0.5 credits, Physical Education 1.32 credits, health 0.5 credits, Technology 0.25 credits, family consumer science 0.25 credits and electives 6 credits.[56]

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.[57] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[58]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[59] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade. Students have several opportunities to pass the exam, with those who do not able to perform a project in order to graduate.[60][61] 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.[62] 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.[63] 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 2012, 207 Daniel Boone Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 494. The Math average score was 505. The Writing average score was 497. 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, 221 Daniel Boone Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 507. The Math average score was 509. The Writing average score was 472.[64] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[65] 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.[66]

Middle school[edit]

Daniel Boone Area Middle School is located at 1845 Weavertown Road, Douglassville. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the Middle School reported an enrollment of 943 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 142 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The Middle School was a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 55 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 17:1.[67] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 17 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[68]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 71% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 68% (15% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 67% (14% below basic). State – 57% [78]
  • 2009 - 66% (15% below basic). State - 55% [79]
  • 2008 - 60%, (7% below basic). State - 52% [80]
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.

Birdsboro Elementary Center[edit]

Birdsboro Elementary Center is located at 400 West 2nd Street, Birdsboro. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the School reported an enrollment of 426 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 146 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 34 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.[81] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[82] Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Birdsboro Elementary was converted to a grades 3-5 elementary center, serving primarily Birdsboro Borough and Union Township.

In 2011 and 2012, Birdsboro Elementary Center achieved AYP status even though it missed all reading metrics.[83] In 2012, only 73% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. Among 3rd graders, 83% were reading on grade level in 2012. In math, 81% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 45% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 88% of the pupils were on grade level, with 53% advanced.[84]

Monocacy Elementary Center[edit]

Monocacy Elementary Center is located at 576 Monocacy Creek Road, Birdsboro. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 423 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 80 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 25 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 17:1.[85] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[86] Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Monocacy Elementary was converted to a grades K-2 elementary center, serving primarily Birdsboro Borough and Union Township.

In 2011 and 2012, Monocacy Elementary Center achieved AYP status.[87] In 2012, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, just 79% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 35% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils were on grade level, with 49% advanced. This was a significant increase over 75 on grade level in 4th grade science in 2011.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 93% (3% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 75% (11% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 82% (4% below basic). State - 81%

Amity Elementary Center[edit]

Amity Elementary Center is located at 200 Boone Drive, Douglassville. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 520 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 72 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 58 teachers.[92] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[93]

In 2011 and 2012, Amity Elementary Center (formerly Amity Intermediate School) achieved AYP status in reading and mathematics.[94]

Special education[edit]

In December 2011, the District administration reported that 552 pupils or 14% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 50% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[95] In December 2009, the District administration reported that 541 pupils or 13.6% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 46.8% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-11 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.[96] 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 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 .[97] 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.[98][99] Daniel Boone Area School District uses the Berks County Intermediate Unit to provide some services to students.[100] 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. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[101] 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.[102] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some Pennsylvania public school districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[103] 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.[104] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[105]

Daniel Boone Area School District received a $1,373,980 supplement for special education services in 2010.[106] 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.[107][108] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

Gifted education[edit]

Daniel Boone Area District Administration reported that 234 or 5.88% of its students were gifted in 2009. The highest percentage of gifted students reported among all 500 school districts and 100 public charter schools in Pennsylvania was North Allegheny School District with 15.5% of its students identified as gifted.[109] 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.[110][111]

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.[112]

In 2011-12, the average teacher salary in Daniel Boone Area School District was $60,379 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $18,135 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $78,514.[113] The District employed 295 teachers with an average salary of $60,679 and a top salary of $134,472.[114]

In 2009, Daniel Boone Area School District reported employing 308 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $57,843 and a top salary of $131,836.[115] The teacher’s work day is 7 hours 30 minutes with a 30-minute duty-free lunch and a daily prep period. There are 187 days in the contract year with 180 student days. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, 3 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, 5 paid bereavement days and other benefits. Teacher who serve as department chairs, team coordinators or team leaders receive annual additional payments. Teachers who work in homebound instruction, adult education and other after school day activities receive $36 an hour.[116]

Per pupil spending Daniel Boon Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $643.04 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[117] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[118] According to PSBA, the median Superintendent salary rose to over $130,000 in 2011.[119]

In 2008, the Daniel Boone Area School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $11,381 which ranked 355th among Pennsylvania's then 501 public school districts. In 2010, the District’s per pupil spending had increased to $12,400.53.[120] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[121] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[122]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[123] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[124] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[125] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[126]

Reserves In 2008, the Daniel Boone Area School District reported a balance of $3,408,571 in its reserves.[127] In 2010, Daniel Boone Area School District Administration reported an increase to $3,899,958 in its reserve fund balance. In 2012, the District reported reserves of $10,887,262 in its committed reserve fund and $1,584,381 in its unreserved fund. 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.[128] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[129]

Stadium construction In 2009, the School Board approved a contract with Architerra, PC, Coopersburg, and to proceed with proposed renovations for the high school sports stadium and other sports facilities at a cost of over $4.25 million. The project included: a new six-lane, 400-meter, oval synthetic track, seating for 1,800 people, seating for handicapped individuals to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, a press box, food court, a fence, new field lighting and a scoreboard. Phase II of the project included resurfacing the tennis courts with synthetic turf, an enhanced food concession area, new two-gender restrooms, an officials' room, training room, increased parking, and construction of a softball field[130]

Audit In November 2011, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Daniel Boone Area School District. The findings were reported to the School Board and the District’s administration.[131]

In November 2009, Auditor General Jack Wagner reported that Daniel Boone Area School District entered into high risk Interest swap deals under Act 23 of 2003. By 2009, 107 Districts out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts entered into these transactions. Seven Berks County public school districts also entered into swap deals with investment banks. It was found that fees that were characterized as being paid by the investment banks were actually ultimately charged to the District.[132][133][134][135]

Tuition Students who live in the Daniel Boone Area 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 Daniel Boone 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 - $8,557.62, High School - $8,430.17.[136]

Daniel Boone Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%,[137] a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[138] 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.[139] 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.[140]

State basic education funding[edit]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Daniel Boone Area School District received a 3.1% increase or $8,092,243 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $239,564 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Daniel Boone Area School District received $154,447 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Allegheny County, Wyomissing Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 6.3%. 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.[141] 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.[142]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Daniel Boone Area School District received $7,852,679.[143] 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. Daniel Boone Area School District received $154,447 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[144] 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 budget year, Daniel Boone Area School District received a 2.83% increase which was a $7,851,236 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[145][146] Additionally, the School District received $154,447 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.[147] The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District of Allegheny County, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12.[148] In 2010, the District reported that 773 students received free or reduced price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[149]

In the 2010-11 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $8,572,780. Among the districts in Berks County, the highest increase went to Muhlenberg School District which got an 8.17% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County, which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[150] 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 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.[151]

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 7.87% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $8,404,686. Ninety (90) Pennsylvania public school districts received the base 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009 which was the highest awarded BEF increase in the Commonwealth.[152] The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[153]

In 2008-09, the state Basic Education Funding to the Daniel Boone Area School District was $7,791,411.83. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 533 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–08 school year.[154] 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.[155][156]

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 $419,209 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District uses the funding to provide an extended school year, interventions for struggling pupils and Career Awareness Education.[157][158]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006 to 2009. The Daniel Boone Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07 or in 2007-08, nor in 2008-09.[159] Among the public school districts in Berks County the highest award was given to Reading School District which received nearly $1.3 million. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Other grants[edit]

Daniel Boone Area 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), Education Assistance Grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $2,693,055 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[160][161] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[162] 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]

Daniel Boone Area School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars, in additional federal funding, to improve student academic achievement.[163] 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.[164] 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.[165][166][167]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2013-14 were set by the school board at 28.9618 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region.[168] 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 all government property (local, state and federal). 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.[169] When a Pennsylvania public 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.[170] 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.[171]

  • 2012-13 - 28.9618 mills [172]
  • 2011-12 - 28.9618 mills.[173]
  • 2010-11 - 28.4218 mills [174]
  • 2009-10 - 27.6500 mills.[175]
  • 2008-09 - 27.6500 mills.[176]
  • 2007-08 - 26.2500 mills.[177]
  • 2006-07 - 25.2500 mills.[178]
  • 2005-06 - 24.5000 mills.[179]

The average yearly property tax paid by Berks County residents amounts to about 4.66% of their yearly income. Berks County ranked 112th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[180] 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.[181] 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%).[182]

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 permitted to raise property taxes above their annual Act 1 Index unless they either: allow Districts voters to approve the increase through a vote by referendum or they receive an exception from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The base index for the school year is published by the PDE in the fall of each year. Each individual school district’s Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as local property values and the personal income of district residents. Originally, Act 1 of 2006 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[183]

In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation eliminating six of the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[184] 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.[185][186] The legislature also froze the payroll amount public school districts use to calculate the pension-plan exception at the 2012 payroll levels. Further increases in payroll cannot be used to raise the district’s exception for pension payments.

A specific timeline for Act I Index decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[187]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Daniel Boone Area School Board apply for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit for:special education costs and teacher pension costs. 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.[191]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Daniel Boone Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: teacher pension costs and special education costs. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[192]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Daniel Boone Area School Board applied for four exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index, including: special education costs, teacher pension costs, Maintenance of Selected Revenue, and Maintenance of local tax effort, . Each year, the Daniel Boone 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.

According to a state report, for the 2011-2012 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions: 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[193]

The Daniel Boone Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2010-11: teacher pensions costs and special education services costs.[194]

For the 2009-10 school budget, the Daniel Boone Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index.[195] 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.[196]

Wellness policy[edit]

Daniel Boone Area School Board a district wellness policy in 2006.[197] 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 Pennsylvania public school districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[198]

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[199] 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.[200] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[201]

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.[202] 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 the lunch.[203]

Daniel Boone 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.[204] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania interscholastic Athletics Association (PIAA).

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[205]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013 [206]

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