Elizabeth Forward School District

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elizabeth Forward School District
Map of Allegheny County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Elizabeth, PA
United States
Type Public School District
Superintendent Dr. Bart Rocco
Teaching staff 198 (2010) [1]
Grades K-12
Enrollment 2588 pupils (2009-2010)
 • Kindergarten 157
 • Grade 1 150
 • Grade 2 156
 • Grade 3 162
 • Grade 4 196
 • Grade 5 170
 • Grade 6 201
 • Grade 7 191
 • Grade 8 224
 • Grade 9 236
 • Grade 10 244
 • Grade 11 238
 • Grade 12 253 [2]
 • Other Enrollment projected to continue to decline to 2299 pupils in 2020.
Budget $35.7 million 2012-13 [3]

The Elizabeth Forward School District is a small, suburban public school district covering the Borough of Elizabeth and the townships of Elizabeth and Forward Townships in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The district is located approximately 35 minutes south-east of the city of Pittsburgh and lies between the scenic Yough and Monongahela river valleys in the southernmost region of Allegheny County. Elizabeth Forward School District encompasses approximately 35 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 19,210. In 2009, the districts residents' per capita income was $20,424, while the median family income was $48,671.[4] Per District officials, in school year 2005-06 the Elizabeth Forward School District provided basic educational services to 2,894 pupils through the employment of 202 teachers, 106 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 12 administrators. The Elizabeth Forward School District received more than $12.9 million in state funding in school year 2005-06.The schools football team and other school sports is called the warrior's

The district operates six schools:

  • Elizabeth Forward High School (9th-12th) Made AYP
  • Elizabeth Forward Middle School (6th-8th) Made AYP
  • Central Elementary School - Grades 1st-5 Made AYP Report Card 2010 [1]
  • Greenock Elementary School - Grades K-2 Report Card 2010 [2]
  • Mt. Vernon Elementary School - Grades 3-5 Made AYP Report Card 2010 [3]
  • William Penn Elementary Schools Elementary School - Grades K-5 Made AYP Report Card 2010 [4]

Elizabeth Learning Center - Former Elizabeth Elementary School - Multi uses building - Alternative education, taxpayer funded Preschool/Head Start operated by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, adult education programs.[5]

Academic achievement[edit]

Elizabeth Forward School District was ranked 181st out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts for student academic achievement by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2011. The ranking was based on five years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for: math, reading, writing and three years of science.[6]

  • 2010 - 237th [7]
  • 2009 - 240th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts
  • 2008 - 222nd
  • 2007 - 221st out of 501 school districts.[8]

In 2009, the academic achievement of students in the Elizabeth Forward School District was in the 64th percentile of 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[9]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Elizabeth Forward School District's rate was 93% for 2010.[10]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

  • 2010 - 95% [11]
  • 2009 - 91%
  • 2008 - 94%
  • 2007 - 94% [12]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Elizabeth Forward School Board has determined that a student must earn 26 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Technology .5 credits, and Health 0.5 credit, Freshman Seminar 0.5 credits, Senior Project 1 credit, Physical Education 1 credit includes swimming, Arts/Humanities 3 credits, and 3.5 electives.[13]

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.[14]

According to Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, beginning with the graduating class in 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[15]

High school[edit]

In 2010 the high school improved to achieving AYP status. In 2009, the school was in Warning status due to low student achievement.[16]

The high school ranked 61st out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2011, for academic achievement as reflected by five years of 11th grade results on: math, reading, writing and three years of science PSSAs.[17]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2010 - 74% on grade level (10% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 66% of 11th graders are on grade level.[20]
  • 2009 - 66% (11% below basic), State - 65% [21]
  • 2008 - 64% (16% below basic), State - 65% [22]
  • 2007 - 71% (18% below basic), State - 65% [23]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2010 - 69%, on grade level (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[24]
  • 2009 - 59% (19% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 55% (23% below basic), State - 56%.
  • 2007 - 49% (26% below basic), State - 53%.
11th Grade Science:
  • 2010 - 74% on grade level (10% below basic). State - 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2009 - 66% (11% below basic). State - 40%.[25]
  • 2008 - 24% (12% below basic), State - 39%.

College Remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 41% of Elizabeth Forward High School's graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[26] 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.[27] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[28] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[29] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[30]

In 2010, the Elizabeth Forward School District High School received a state grant of $20,272.00 to assist students in paying for tuition, books and fees.[31]

Middle school[edit]

In 2010 and 2009 the school achieved AYP status.[32] In both years the attendance rate was 94%.[33]

In 2009, the 8th grade was ranked 70th out of 141 western Pennsylvania middle schools based on three years of student academic achievement in PSSAs in: reading, math, writing and one year of science.[34] (Includes schools in: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County.

8th Grade Reading

  • 2010 - 88% on grade level (5% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81% of 8th graders on grade level.
  • 2009 - 85% (7% below basic), State - 80%
  • 2008 - 80% (10% below basic), State - 78% [35]
  • 2007 - 82% (5% below basic), State - 75%

8th Grade Math:

  • 2010 - 82% on grade level (9% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.[36]
  • 2009 - 78% (11% below basic), State - 71% [37]
  • 2008 - 71% (12% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 71% (13% below basic), State - 68%

8th Grade Science:

  • 2010 - 66% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 57% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2009 - 62% (19% below basic), State - 55% [38]
  • 2008 - 58%, State - 52% [39]

7th Grade Reading

  • 2010 - 82% on grade level (6% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 73% of 7th graders on grade level.
  • 2009 - 75% (8% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2008 - 72% (12% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 65% (16% below basic), State - 67%

7th Grade Math:

  • 2010 - 86% on grade level (8% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 77% of 7th graders are on grade level.
  • 2009 - 86% (6% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2008 - 79% (10% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2007 - 70% (13% below basic), State - 67%

6th Grade Reading:

  • 2010 - 66% on grade level (13% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 68% of 6th graders are on grade level.
  • 2009 - 67% (10% below basic), State - 67%
  • 2008 - 75% (8% below basic), State - 67%
  • 2007 - 67% (12% below basic), State - 63%

6th Grade Math:

  • 2010 - 83% on grade level (5% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 78% of 6th graders are on grade level.
  • 2009 - 85% (3% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2008 - 88% (2% below basic), State - 72%
  • 2007 - 75% (9% below basic), State - 69%

Special education[edit]

In December 2009 the district administration reported that 386 pupils or 14.8% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[40]

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities. In compliance with various state and federal laws, the District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, which are individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided and are intended to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Child Study Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Supervisor of Special Education.[41]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[42]

Elizabeth Forward School District received a $1,651,846 supplement for special education services in 2010.[43]

For the 2011-12 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[44]

Bullying and School Safety[edit]

In 2009, the administration reported there were 2 incidents of bullying in the district.[45][46]

Elizabeth Forward School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty. They enacted an antibullying policy which defines bullying. The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying.[47] The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[48] 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.[49]

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.[50]

Wellness policy[edit]

The Elizabeth Forward School Board established a district wellness policy in January 2009 - Policy 246.[51] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some low nutrition foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so that unique aspects 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.[52]

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


In 2008, per pupil spending at Elizabeth Forward School District was ranked 276th in the state at $11,956 for each child.[53]

In 2007, the Elizabeth Forward School District employed 198 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $50,829 for 189 days worked with 184 pupil instruction days. The average teacher salary in Pennsylvania was $54,977.[54] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[55]

In 2009, the district employed 258 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $54,810. The beginning salary was $38,000, while the highest salary was $130,290.[56] Teachers work a 7-hour 39 minute day with one planning period and a paid lunch period included. Additionally, the teachers received a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, 3 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days which accumulate, 5 paid bereavement leave days and many other benefits. Teachers on sabbatical leave receive 1/2 their salary. Retiring teachers are paid $45 per unused sick day upon departure. The teacher's union is granted 12 paid days to conduct union business, including travel to union events on state or national level.[57] According to Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[58][59]

The Assistant Superintendent is Dr. Todd Keruskin. Elizabeth Forward School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1297 per pupil. This is the fourteenth highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[60] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association, the average salary for a superintendent for the 2007-08 school year was $122,165.[61] Superintendents and the administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.

In 2008, the Elizabeth Forward School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of -$180,470.[62]

In January 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit on the district. Several findings were reported to the school board and administration.[63]

In 2011, the district conducted a tax amnesty program that eliminated the interest and fines on taxes owed. They hoped to collect the $10,000,000 in delinquent taxes owed the district.[64]

The school budget for 2011-12 is $35,481,737.[65]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of wealth.[66]

State basic education funding[edit]

In 2011-12, the district will receive $8,783,647 in state Basic Education Funding.[67] Additionally, the district will receive $199,623 in Accountability Block Grant funding for kindergarten.

For the 2010-11 budget year the Elizabeth Forward School District received a 2.73% increase in state basic education funding for a total of $9,204,139. In Allegheny County, the highest increase went to South Fayette Township School District which received an 11.32% increase in state funding. One hundred fifty school districts in Pennsylvania received a 2% base increase for budget year 2010-11. The highest increase in the state was given to Kennett Consolidated School District of Chester County which was given a 23.65% increase in state funding.[68]

In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $8,959,320. Four county school districts received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2008-10. Chartiers Valley School District received an 8.17% increase. The majority of Allegheny County districts received a 2% increase. In Pennsylvania, over 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The state's Basic Education Funding to the Elizabeth Forward School District in 2008-09 was $8,783,647.35.[69] The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[70]

In 2008, the district reported that 714 students receive a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to their family meeting the federal poverty level.

Accountability Block Grant[edit]

The state provides supplemental funding in the form of accountability block grants. The use of these funds is strictly focused on specific state approved uses. Elizabeth Forward School District uses its $541,626 to pay teachers to develop new curriculum, to pay teacher coaches to train other teachers and to send teachers to training programs . These annual funds are in addition to the state's basic education funding.[71] The 2008-09 school year was the fifth year the district offered all-day kindergarten to its pupils. Schools Districts apply each year for Accountability Block Grants.[72] In 2009-10 the state provided $271.4 million in Accountability Block grants $199.5 million went to providing all-day kindergartens.[73]

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), along with other specialized equipment and provided funding for teacher training to optimize the use of the computers. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Elizabeth Forward School District was denied funding, by the Department of Education, in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the district received $321,326 in funding. The district was awarded $58,628 in the 2008-09 fiscal year.[74]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $2,319,184 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[75]

Race to the Top Grant[edit]

School district officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[76] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[77] In Pennsylvania, just 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[78] 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.[79]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The 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.[80] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Elizabeth Forward School Board raise real estate taxes by 1.2518 mills in 2011-12 to 25.01 mills.[81] A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region. On the local level, Pennsylvania district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[82]

  • 2010-11 - 23.7600 mills [83]
  • 2009-10 - 23.7600 mills [84]
  • 2008-09 - 23.5100 mills.[85]
  • 2007-08 - 22.6600 mills.[86]

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 2.9 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[87]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Elizabeth Forward School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[88]

  • 2006-07 - 5.4%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 4.7%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.1%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 5.8%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 4.1%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%

For the 2011-12 school year the Elizabeth Forward School Board applied for four exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index, including pension costs, special education costs, Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue, Maintenance of Selected Revenue and Special Education Expenditures. Each year, the Elizabeth Forward 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 publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[89]

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.[90]

For the 2010-11 school year budget, the Elizabeth Forward School Board did not apply exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index.[91] 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.[92]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, Elizabeth Forward School District property tax relief was set at $225 for 5,763 approved properties.[93] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Allegheny County, 60% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[94]

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. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.[95]

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%).[96]

Enrollment and Consolidation[edit]

For the 2011-12 school year, the administration eliminated five elementary teaching positions and two special education teachers (one at the high school, one at the middle school) due to declining enrollment. The district will eliminated 10 positions that opened due to retirements.[97]

In 2011, the school district officials received a letter from Clairton City School District officials seeking voluntary merger talks.[98]

In 2009, a proposal was made by a local community advocate, David Wassel, to consolidate Allegheny County school districts to save tax dollars and improve student services. The proposal was that Elizabeth Forward would join with neighboring South Allegheny School District.[99]

A Standard and Poors study found that an optimal school district size, to save on administrative costs, was around 3000 pupils.[100] Consolidation of the administration with an adjacent school district would achieve substantial administrative cost savings for people in both communities.[101] According to a proposal made in 2009 by Governor Edward G Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging academic achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to substantially reduce property taxes.[102] Consolidation of two central administrations into one would not require the closing of any schools.

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 school buildings.[103] The study noted that while the best school districts spent 4% of the annual budget on administration, others spend over 15% on administration.[104]

On June 29, 2011, Rep Marc J. Gergely stated that school districts in Allegheny County will be forced to consolidate, in the next few years, based in the current state funding of the district.[105]

More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[106]

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. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[107] 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.[108]


The district offers a variety of clubs and activities. Eligibility to participate is determined through school board policies.[109][110]

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.[111][112]


  1. ^ NCES, Common Core of Data - Elizabeth Forward School District, 2010
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Elizabeth Forward School District Enrollment and Projections, July 2009
  3. ^ Chute, Eleanor and Niederberger, Mary., 16 of 43 school districts in Allegheny County hike taxes, July 15, 2012
  4. ^ American Fact Finder, US Census Bureau, 2009
  5. ^ Mary Niederberger (June 4, 2009). "Elizabeth Elementary building to become learning center". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 3, 2011). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings Information". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. 
  7. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 30, 2010). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings". 
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (2007). "Best Schools Ranking,". Archived from the original on 2010-03-28. 
  9. ^ The Morning Call (2009). "Elizabeth Forward School District 2009 PSSA results". 
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. 
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Elizabeth Forward School District AYP Report Card 2010 data table". 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Partnership for Children (2008). "PA High School Graduation Info by School District 2007". 
  13. ^ Elizabeth Forward School Board. "Elizabeth Forward High School Program of Studies 2011-12 - Graduation Requirements" (PDF). Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements". 
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". 
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "ELIZABETH FORWARD SCHOOL - School AYP Overview". 
  17. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (2011). "2011 Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools - School District Information". 
  18. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (October 16, 2010). "2010 Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools - School District Information". 
  19. ^ The Rankings: 11th Grades, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009-2010 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  21. ^ The Times-Tribune. (September 2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 PSSA results,". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2008). "2007-2008 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2007). "PSSA Math and Reading results". 
  24. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 2011). "Elizabeth Forward High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010" (PDF). 
  25. ^ The Times-Tribune. (2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 Science PSSA results,". 
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2009). "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report". 
  27. ^ National Center for Education Statistics
  28. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Dual Enrollment Guidelines". 
  29. ^ "Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement.". March 2010. 
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 29, 2010). "PA College Credit Transfer System Makes Higher Education More Affordable, Accessible,". 
  31. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2009). "Dual Enrollment Fall Grants 2009-10.". 
  32. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Elizabeth Forward Middle School - School AYP Overview". 
  33. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Elizabeth Forward Middle School - School Data table 2010". 
  34. ^ The Rankings: Eighth grade, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15th, 2009.
  35. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2008). "Reading and Math PSSA 2008 by Schools". 
  36. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (September 14, 2010). "2010 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results". 
  37. ^ 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results Pennsylvania Department of Education Report
  38. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (August 2009). "Science PSSA 2009 by Schools". 
  39. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report (August 2008). "Science PSSA 2008 by Schools". 
  40. ^ Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education Services (2010). "Elizabeth Forward SD" (PDF). http://penndata.hbg.psu.edu.  External link in |work= (help)
  41. ^ Elizabeth Forward School District Administration (2010). "Elizabeth Forward School District Annual Public Notice 2010". 
  42. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Special Education Funding". 
  43. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Special Education Funding from Pennsylvania State_2010-2011". 
  44. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year". 
  45. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Elizabeth Forward SD School Safety Annual Report 2009 - 2010" (PDF). 
  46. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Pennsylvania Safe Schools Online Reports". 
  47. ^ Elizabeth Forward School District Administration (April 1, 2009). "Elizabeth Forward School District Policy Manual Anti-Bullying Policy 249". 
  48. ^ Pennsylvania GEneral Assembly (2007). "Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8". 
  49. ^ Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania, (2008). "Bullying Prevention advisory". 
  50. ^ Pennsylvania State Board of Education (January 11, 2003). "Pennsylvania Academic Standards". 
  51. ^ Elizabeth Forward School Board (June 26, 2006). "Elizabeth Forward School Board Policy Manual Student Wellness 246". 
  52. ^ Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools for the School Nutrition Incentive, Pennsylvania Department of Education — Division of Food and Nutrition. July 2008
  53. ^ "Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort by Administrative Spending". 2008. 
  54. ^ Fenton, Jacob,. "Average classroom teacher salaries in Allegheny County, 2006-07". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved March 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  55. ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
  56. ^ Openpagov.com (2009). "Elizabeth Forward School District Payroll report". Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. 
  57. ^ Elizabeth Forward School Board. "Elizabeth Forward School District Teacher Union Employment Contract". Retrieved 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  58. ^ Legislature must act on educators' pension hole. The Patriot News. February 21, 2010
  59. ^ Pennsylvania School Board Association (2010). "School Pension Information". Archived from the original on 2012-01-09. 
  60. ^ Fenton, Jacob. (February 2009). "Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. 
  61. ^ Pennsylvania School Board Association, (October 2009). "Public School Employee Salaries 2007-08 - 11th Annual". Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. 
  62. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report 2008 (2008). "General Reserved Fund Balance by School District 1996-2008,". 
  63. ^ Elizabeth Forward School District ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT, January 2010
  64. ^ Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (March 17, 2011). "Elizabeth Forward tax hike question headed to ballot". 
  65. ^ Anne Cloonan (June 30, 2011). "Elizabeth Forward raises taxes in 2011-12 budget". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  66. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (October 2010). "Personal Income Tax Information". Archived from the original on 2009-12-13. 
  67. ^ PA Senate Appropriations Committee (June 28, 2011). "School District 2011-12 funding Report". 
  68. ^ Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee (June 2010). "PA Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010-2011". 
  69. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 2009). "Basic Education Funding report". 
  70. ^ Office of Budget, (February 2010). "Governor's Budget Proposal 2010,". 
  71. ^ Pennsylvania Department ofEducation (2010). "ACCOUNTABILITY BLOCK GRANT Awards". 
  72. ^ PA-PACT Information
  73. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009–2010 Accountability block Grant Mid-year report" (PDF). 
  74. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (December 22, 2008). "Classrooms For the Future grants audit" (PDF). 
  75. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. "Allegheny County ARRA FUNDING Report". Archived from the original on 2009-04-16. 
  76. ^ Governor Edward Rendell press office (2010). "Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support". 
  77. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchek (December 2009). "Pennsylvania Race to the Top Letter to Superintendents". 
  78. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support, Governor's Press Office release, January 20, 2010.
  79. ^ U.S. Department of Education, (March 29, 2010). "Race to the Top Fund,". 
  80. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Common Cents program - Making Every Dollar Count". 
  81. ^ Pittsburgh POst Gazette (June 30, 2011). "Elizabeth Forward raises taxes in 2011-12 budget". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  82. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, (2004). "Act 511 Tax Report,". 
  83. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Finances_Real Estate Tax Rates 2010-11". 
  84. ^ Allegheny County Treasurer's Office (May 5, 2010). "School District Tax Millages 2009 in Allegheny County". Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. 
  85. ^ Real Estate Tax Millage by School District, Pennsylvania Department of Finance. 2009
  86. ^ Allegheny County Treasurer's Office (May 5, 2008). "School District Tax Millages 2007 in Allegheny County". Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. 
  87. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2010-11 Act 1 of 2006 Referendum Exception Guidelines". 
  88. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 School District Adjusted Index for 2006-2007 through 2010-2012". 
  89. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Special Session Act 1 of 2006 the Taxpayer Relief Act information". 
  90. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2011). "Report on Exceptions". 
  91. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2010). "SSAct1_Act1 Referendum Exceptions Report 2010-2011". 
  92. ^ Scarcella, Frank; Pursell, Tricia, (May 25, 2010). "Local school tax assessments exceed state averages.". The Daily Item. 
  93. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education report by School District. (May 1, 2010). "Tax Relief by Homestead 2010". 
  94. ^ Auditor General Office (February 23, 2010). "Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief,". 
  95. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. "Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program". 
  96. ^ Tax Foundation (September 22, 2009). "New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners,". Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. 
  97. ^ Mary Niederberger (May 26, 2011). "Budget increases taxes, cuts teachers in Elizabeth Forward". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  98. ^ Stephanie Hacke (May 26, 2011). "Officials decline Clairton's request to talk merger". 
  99. ^ Wassel, David, (June 21, 2009). "The Next Page: For a New Allegheny County -- 26 school districts, 26 municipalities.". The PostGazette.com. 
  100. ^ Pennsylvania Legislative Budget; Finance Committee (2007). "Study of the cost-effectiveness of consolidating". 
  101. ^ Fenton, Jacob, (July 2009). "Administrative Costs for Allegheny County School Districts 2007-08,". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. 
  102. ^ Edward Rendell (February 2009). "2009-10 Executive Budget Facts Pennsylvania School District Consolidation," (PDF). 
  103. ^ "Report of the Fiscal Responsibility Task Force" (PDF). Retrieved April 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  104. ^ Jeff Blumenthal (March 7, 2011). "Pennsylvania accountants share budget-cutting ideas". Pennsylvania Business Journal. 
  105. ^ Pennsylvania House of Representatives debate on the 2011-12 Commonwealth General Fund Budget - Comments by Rep. Marc J. Gergely on rejecting general fund budget, June 29, 2011
  106. ^ The Center for Rural Pennsylvania. (October 2009). "Research Analyzes Rural School District Enrollment and Building Capacity" (PDF). 
  107. ^ Rendell, E.; Soderberg, M. (2009). "Pennsylvania school district consolidation. 2009-10 Executive Budget Fast Facts." (PDF). Pennsylvania Office of the Governor. 
  108. ^ New York: Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (2007). "Study of the cost-effectiveness of consolidating Pennsylvania districts.". 
  109. ^ Elizabeth Forward School Board (February 25, 2009). "ExtraCurricular Activities Policy 122". 
  110. ^ Elizabeth Forward School Board (February 25, 2009). "Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123". 
  111. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities,". 
  112. ^ Elizabeth Forward School Board (April 30, 2009). "Extracurricular Participation by Home Education Students Policy 137.1" (PDF). 

Coordinates: 40°14′57″N 79°51′05″W / 40.24913°N 79.85137°W / 40.24913; -79.85137