Galeton Area School District

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Galeton Area School District
Map of Potter County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
25 Bridge Street
Galeton, Pennsylvania, Potter County and Tioga County 16922
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Dr. Brenda Freeman, effective November 11, 2013[1]
School number 814-435-6571
Administrator

Mrs Cristy R. Jeffers, Business Manager, $51,741 (2012)
Mr. Gary Ruef, Buildings & Grounds Supervisor

Mrs Meghan Palmatier, Food Service Manager
Principal

Mr. Clyde N. Pierce III

Mr Jim Sunderlin, Dean of Students/AD
Staff 22 non teaching staff members[2]
Faculty

37 teachers (2015)[3]

42 teachers (2010)[4]
Grades preschool, K-12th
Age 4 years old to 21 years old for special education students
Number of students 36 preschool 2012
Pupils

350 pupils (2015)[5]
397 pupils (2014)[6]
366 pupils (2013)[7]
362 pupils 2012

388 (2006)[8]
 • Kindergarten 34 (2013), 27 (2010)
 • Grade 1 21 (2013), 28
 • Grade 2 26 (2013), 22
 • Grade 3 27 (2013), 26
 • Grade 4 25 (2013), 24
 • Grade 5 36 (2013), 22
 • Grade 6 27 (2013), 19
 • Grade 7 36 (2013), 20
 • Grade 8 31 (2013), 30
 • Grade 9 22 (2013), 21
 • Grade 10 24 (2013), 21
 • Grade 11 20 (2013), 42
 • Grade 12 27 (2013), 21 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to remain below 390 through 2019[9]
Average class size 8 pupils per teacher
Language English
Mascot Tigers
Budget

$7,073,269 (2016-17)[10]
$6,933,607 (2014-15)[11]

$6,634,381 (2012-13)
Per pupil spending

$26,781 (2008) highest in Commonwealth
$20,236.75 (2010) 17th in state

$18,516.73 (2013) 54th in state[12]
Website
Tioga County School Districts

The Galeton Area School District is a diminutive, rural public school district operating in Potter County, Pennsylvania. Galeton Area School District encompasses approximately 325 square miles (840 km2). It serves the municipalities of Galeton, Abbott Township, West Branch Township, Pike Township, and a portion of Hector Township in Potter County, plus Elk Township and Gaines Township in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. According to 2000 federal census data, the District served a resident population of 3,292.[13] By 2010, the District's population declined to 2,929 people.[14] The educational attainment levels for the Galeton Area School District population (25 years old and over) were 82.7% high school graduates and 9.6% college graduates.[15]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 57.1% of the Galeton Area School District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[16] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $17,951, while the median family income was $35,486.[17] In Potter County, the median household income was $39,193.[18] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[19]

According to District officials, in school year 2005-06, the Galeton Area School District provided basic educational services to 401 pupils through the employment of 50 teachers, 19 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 4 administrators. The district students are 94% white, 1% Asian, 3% black and 1% Hispanic.[20] In school year 2009-10, the Galeton Area School District reported an enrollment of 362 pupils through the employment of 47 teachers, 16 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 3 administrators. Galeton Area School District received more than $2.8 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.[21] In the 2011-2012 school year, Galeton Area School District served 355 students and employed 42 teachers.[22] There are two teachers for each primary grade. (PreK through 4th grade) In the Pre Kindergarten program, there are two teachers for a total of 22 pupils.[23] The District employed twelve (12) full-time and part-time support personnel, and increased to five (5) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. The District received $3.1 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year.

Galeton Area School District operates one school building which houses all grades preschool-12th.

High school students may choose dual enrollment and half day vocational training program at Seneca Highlands Area Career and Technical Center, which is located in Port Allegany, McKean County, Pennsylvania. The Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit IU9 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Galeton Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[24] The Districts is divided into three electoral regions and three board members are elected from each region. 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, (renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[25] The school board is required by state law to post a financial report on the district in its website by March of each school year.[26] The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regrading renewal of the employment contract. The Galeton School School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent and Business Manager regarding renewal of their employment contracts.[27] Pursuant to Act 141 of 2012 which amended the Pennsylvania School Code, all school districts that have hired superintendents on/after the fall of 2012 are required to develop objective performance standards and post them on the district’s website.[28] Galeton Area School District failed to comply in 2015.[29]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[30]

Academic achievement[edit]

In October 2015, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported that Galeton Area School District was among the 561 academically challenged schools that have been overlooked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[31][32] He also reported the Pennsylvania Department of Education failed to take any action to remediate the poorly performing schools to raise student academic achievement or to provide them with targeted professional assistance.[33]

Statewide ranking

In 2015, Galeton Area School District ranked 395th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[34] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[35] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Galeton Area School District ranked 35th. In 2012, the District was 43rd. [42] 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."[43]

District AYP History[edit]

In 2011 and 2012 Galeton Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[44] In 2010, the District achieved AYP status. 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.[45]

  • 2004-2009 - achieved AYP status[46]
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, Galeton Area School District graduation rate was 88.89%.[47]

  • 2014 - 82%.[48]
  • 2013 - 95% [49]
  • 2012 - 89%[50]
  • 2011 - 84%
  • 2010 - 84%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[51]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Academic Achievement[edit]

Galeton Area School District is located at 25 Bridge Street, Galeton. Because the District is so small, it operates a single school building which houses all grades, a taxpayer funded preschool and the administration. In 2015, the School reported a decline of enrollment to just 343 pupils preschool through 12th, with 64.7% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 15.7% of pupils received special education services, while 3.5% of pupils were identified as gifted.[56] The school employed 38 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[57]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013, the School reported an enrollment of 355 pupils in grades preschool through 12th grade. In 2014, 1% of Galeton Area School District teachers are "Non-Highly Qualified" per a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[58]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the District reported an enrollment of 336 pupils in grades preschool through 12th grade, According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 3 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[59]

2015 School Performance Profile

Canton Area School District achieved 85.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.The PDE reported that 100% of the School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 87.5% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 62.5% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[60] Statewide, 53 percent of schools with an eleventh grade achieved an academic score of 70 or better. Five percent of the 2,033 schools with 11th grade were scored at 90 and above; 20 percent were scored between 80 and 89; 28 percent between 70 and 79; 25 percent between 60 and 69 and 22 percent below 60. The Keystone Exam results showed: 73 percent of students statewide scored at grade-level in English, 64 percent in Algebra I and 59 percent in biology.[61][62]

2014 School Performance Profile

Galeton Area School District achieved 69.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 68% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/mathematics, 70% showed on grade level skills. In Science/Biology, only 64% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[63] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[64]

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

2013 School Performance Profile

Galeton Area School achieved 70.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 67% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 70.8% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 59% showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 48.89% were showing on grade level writing skills.[68] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated English, algebra and biology course. In 2013, according to Principal Larry Smith, about one-third of the 28 senior high school students, taking the Keystone Exams, met the proficiency standards for algebra, biology and literature.[69]

PSSA Results[edit]

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[70]

In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade. year.[71]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 80% on grade level, (5% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[72]
  • 2011 - 65% (10% below basic). State - 69.1%[73]
  • 2010 - 57%, State - 67% (38 pupils)[74]
  • 2009 - 58%, State - 65% [75]
  • 2008 - 52%, State - 65% [76]
  • 2007 - 56%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 55% on grade level (20% below basic). State - 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 45%, (25% below basic). State - 60%[77]
  • 2010 - 47%, State -59%
  • 2009 - 66%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 40%, State - 55%[78]
  • 2007 - 43%, State - 53% [79]
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 35% (10% below basic). State - 42%[80]
  • 2011 - 10%, (25% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 28%, State: 39%
  • 2009 - 37%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 29%, State - 39% [81]

Science in Motion Galeton Area High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[82] University of Pittsburgh at Bradford provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Galeton Area School District partners with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to offer a dual enrollment program which permits Pennsylvania students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school.[83][84]

Galeton Area School District does not offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Galeton Area School Board has determined that a student must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 3 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Physical Education 1 credit each year, Health 0.5 credits, Music1 credit, Technology 1 credit and electives. Students must also complete 40 hours of community service.[85]

In 2012, an improperly completed strategic plan was submitted to the state, David Wishard, Superintendenby then Superintendent David Wishard. The Plan lacked graduation requirements.[86][87]

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.[88] 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.[89]

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.[90] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[91]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[92][93] 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.[94] 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.[95] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Galeton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 468. The Math average score was 488. The Writing average score was 432.[96][97] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[98]

In 2013, 11 Galeton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 496. The Math average score was 485. The Writing average score was 481. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nationwide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[99]

In 2012, 13 Galeton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 445. The Math average score was 441. The Writing average score was 401. 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, Galeton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 464. The Math average score was 487. The Writing average score was 473.[100] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[101] 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.[102]

According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[103]

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

Eighth Grade[edit]

8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 79% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 35% (25% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 38%, State - 55%
  • 2009 - 38%, State: 57%
  • 2008 - 38%, State - 50%

Seventh Grade[edit]

Sixth Grade[edit]

Fifth Grade[edit]

Fourth Grade[edit]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 84%, (8% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 91%, (3% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 85%, State - 81%
  • 2009 - 74%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 96%, State - 81%

Third Grade[edit]

Special education[edit]

In December 2012, Galeton Area School District reported that 50 pupils or 14% were receiving special education services, with 54% of the identified students having specific learning disabilities. In December 2008, the District reported that 52 pupils or 13.4% were receiving special education services.[110][111] Galeton Area School District provides a wide spectrum of special education services. Services and programs available within the District include learning support, speech/language support, secondary life skills support, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision, adaptive physical education, ESL/LEP, job training, and alternative education programs at the secondary level. The district is required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.[112]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[113] Galeton Area School District has not seen a substantial decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

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 Department of Special Education. The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[114] 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.[115] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[116] 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.[117] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[118]

Galeton Area School District received a $261,887 supplement for special education services in 2010.[119] 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.[120][121] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding. For the 2014-15 school year, Galeton Area received $264,243 from the state for special education services.[122]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 3 students or 1.90% of its students were gifted in 2009.[123] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels.[124] The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor. This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, and dual enrollment with local colleges. 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.[125]

Enrollment and Administration Costs[edit]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, total enrollment preschool plus K-12 is 362 students. There were 36 students in the Class of 2009. The senior class of 2010 had 30 students. Enrollment in Galeton Area School District is projected to continue to remain very low. The senior class had 21 pupils in 2013, with 15 students in the class of 2015. The District raised its enrollment by adding a taxpayer funded preschool which attracts 30 students a year. The kindergarten class enrolled in 2013 had 19 pupils.[126]

Galeton Area School District had the highest administrative costs per pupil among all the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania in 2008 at $1,668 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[127]

With limited resources, opportunities for students are acutely limited. In a Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee study on school consolidation, 63% of the superintendents that responded expressed agreement that consolidation with another district could help them provide additional academic enrichment opportunities for their students.[128] Consolidation with adjacent school districts would achieve substantial cost savings for people in all the impacted communities. In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.[129]

Over the decade 2000-2010, rural Pennsylvania public school district enrollment has decreased by 8 percent.[130] In 2010, there were 726,417 children in rural Pennsylvania, or 21 percent of the total rural population. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children in rural counties decreased 7 percent. The decline in the number of children impacted most rural counties with 42 of Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties experiencing a decline. Cameron County, Elk County and Sullivan County experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of more than 21 percent in all three counties. Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Pennsylvania’s birth rate has been declining for two decades. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 1990, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 171,053.[131] In 2000, Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 145,874.[132] Finally in 2011, the State’s birth rate declined further to 142,021.[133] Potter County's live birth rate in 2011 was 201 babies, while in 1990 it was 242 births.[134] Tioga County's live birth rate was 524 in 1990, while in 2011 it was 437 babies. From 2000 to 2009, the number of babies born in rural counties declined 5 percent.[135] Urban counties have also experienced a decline in the number of school aged children. From 2000-2010 urban Pennsylvania counties had a 3 percent decline in the number of residents under 18 years old. In 2010, there were 2.07 million residents, or 22 percent of the urban population, who were under age 18.[136]

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.[137] 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.[138]

Bullying and school safety[edit]

The Galeton Area School District administration reported there were three incidents of bullying in the District in 2014. Additionally, there were four assaults on students and one sexual incident involving a student. The local law enforcement was involved in zero incidents at the school.[139] [140] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online. Nationally, nearly 20% of pupils report being bullied at school.[141]

Galeton Area School District administration reported there was one incident of bullying in the District in 2011. Additionally, there was a case of disorderly conduct and no sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in zero incidents at the school.[142] [143]

In 2009, the administrative reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district.[144][145]

Galeton Area School Board has posted its antibullying policy online in the District's website.[146] 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.[147] 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.[148]

Galeton Area School District did not participate in the state's 2013 Safe Schools Grant[149] nor the state's School Resource Officer grant to promote school safety.[150]

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.[151]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Galeton Area School District was $52,962 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $18,744 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $71,706.53.[152] The District employed 49 teachers with an average salary of $56,132 and a top salary of $103,810.[153] Galeton Area School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[154] After 40 years of service, a teacher can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[155]

In 2007, the average teacher salary in the district was $48,505 for 180 days worked. Galeton is ranked second in Potter County for average teacher salary in 2007.[156] 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.[157] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[158] According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[159]

In 2006, the Galeton Area School Board awarded a four-year contract to David W. Wishard to serve as superintendent from June 25, 2006 to June 30, 2010. His salary was initially set at $97,000 with raises to increase it to $103,000 in 2010. Additionally, he received an extensive benefits package including health insurance, life insurance and dues paid by taxpayers.[160] Superintendent David W. Wishard received a salary of $103,810 in 2012, when he unexpectedly retired effective Jan 1, 2014 having taken 2 months of vacation and sick time.[161]

Administration spending Galeton Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1,668.88 per pupil, which ranked first out of 500 public school districts in Pennsylvania. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[162]

Per pupil spending In 2008, per pupil spending at Galeton Area School District was the second highest in the state at $26,781 for each child.[163] In 2010, Galeton Area School District’s per pupil spending had increased to $20,236.75.[164] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[165] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[166]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[167] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[168] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[169] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[170]

Audits In April 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Galeton Area School District. Multiple findings were cited. They were reported to the school board and school administration.[171] An audit conducted in 2005 also noted several findings.[172]

Reserves In 2008, the Galeton Area School District reported a balance of $1,390,711, in its reserved funds.[173] In 2012, Galeton Area School District Administration reported $2,057,137 in its reserved funds in 2012. 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.[174] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[175] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[176]

Tuition Students who live in the Galeton Area School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Galeton 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 - $9,828.42, High School - $12,543.99.[177]

Galeton Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the District. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[178] 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 both fund local public schools.[179]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Galeton Area School District receives 47.9% of its annual revenue from the state.[180]

In December 2014, the Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Commission conducted a hearing. Testimony was given regarding state funding at the fastest growing districts and those with the greatest decline in enrollment since 1996. Galeton Area School District was identified as a district with a large decline in enrollment (-33%). State funding per pupil to the district grew by 126% from $3,494 per pupil in 1996 to $7,903 in 2013.[181][182]

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $987,745 to Galeton Area School District, in January 2016.[183] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[184] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[185][186][187]

For the 2014-15 school year, Galeton Area School District received $2,037,190 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $44,821 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[188] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[189]

For the 2013-14 school year, Galeton Area School District received a 0.8% increase or $2,036,238 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $16,885 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Galeton Area School District received $27,966 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Potter County, Austin Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at22.5%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[190] 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.[191]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Galeton Area School District received $2,019,353 .[192] 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. Galeton Area School District received $27,966 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[193] This amount was a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In the 2011-12 school year, Galeton Area School District received a $2,019,380 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[194][195] Additionally, the School District received $27,966 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.[196] 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.[197] In 2010, the district reported that 239 students received free or reduced price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[198]

For the 2010-11 school year, the state allocated a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $2,100,963.[199] Governor Rendell determined that one hundred fifty school districts received a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for 2010-2011. In Potter County, the highest increase went to Coudersport Area School District at 5.50%, while the highest increase in Pennsylvania went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[200]

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $2,059,768. The majority of Potter 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 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.[201]

The state's Basic Education Funding to the Galeton Area School District in 2008-09 was $2,019,379.65 [202] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 211 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[203]

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 Galeton Area School District applied for and received $75,907 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide Pre Kindergarten classes for 7 years.[204][205]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[206]

Galeton Area School District received $44,821 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in 2014-15 in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive. In 2015-16, Galeton Area School District was allotted $62,657 in Ready to Learn grant dollars by Governor Wolf.

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11 the Galeton Area School District received $10,805.[207]

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

The district is participating in a collaborative environmental education program called "Project Wet". Funding is from a federal grant. It will fund teacher preparation and be used to purchase water montoring equipment for the students to use in a hands on science curriculum[208]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Galeton Area School District applied to participate in 2006-07, but was denied funding. The district received $59,293 in 2007-08 and $35,635 in 2008-09 for a total of $94,928 in state funding.[209]

Other grants[edit]

The Galeton Area School District did not participate in: PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell); Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget);[210] 2012 and 2013 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants,[211] PreK Counts grants to fund preschool programs; Project 720 High School Reform grants;[212] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

Galeton Area School District received $391,713 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[213] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[214] 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]

Galeton Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[215] 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. Pennsylvania was not approved for a grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[216]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is to provide each child in public schools with “Highly Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[217] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[218] Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Galeton Area School District received $35,043 in federal Title II funding.[219] In 2014-15, Galeton Area School District applied for and received $33,988.[220]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Galeton Area School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[221] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2015-16 were set by the Galeton Area School Board at 36.5481 mills for Potter County residents and 14.5350 mills for Tioga County residents.[222] 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. 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. On the local level, 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.[223] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two counties, like Galeton Area School District, each county of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[224] 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.[225]

  • 2014-15 - 35.2767 mills for Potter County. Property owners in Tioga County - 14.8116 mills.[226]
  • 2013-14 - 37.0137 mills for Potter County. Tioga County - 14.5177 mills.[227]
  • 2012-13 - 36.8063 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.1892 mills
  • 2011-12 - 36.8595 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.1136 mills
  • 2010-11 - 36.7758 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.2782 mills
  • 2009-10 - 37.2680 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 13.8457 mills[228]
  • 2008-09 - 37.0486 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.0563 mills[229]
  • 2007-08 - 36.9881 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.2837 mills.[230]
  • 2006-07 - 37.0347 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.2358 mills.[231]
  • 2005-06 - 36.0000 mills Potter County. Tioga County - 14.0100 mills.[232]

The average yearly property tax paid by Potter County residents amounts to about 2.95% of their yearly income. Potter County ranked 624th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[233] The average yearly property tax paid by Tioga County residents amounts to about 3.44% of their yearly income. Potter County ranked 401st out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.

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.[234] 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%).[235]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2010-2011 school year is 1.4 percent, but it can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as local property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increasing rising health care costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[236]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Galeton Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[237]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Galeton Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for special education cost and for its rapidly rising teacher pension costs. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[246]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Galeton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[247] For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[248]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Galeton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[249]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Galeton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[250]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Galeton Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Galeton 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.[251]

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.[252]

Property Tax Relief[edit]

In 2010, the state set the district's property tax relief at $213 for 830 approved homesteads and farmsteads.[253] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Galeton Area School District was $235 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 753 property owners applied for the tax relief. 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 2009, 79% of Potter County property owners applied for the property tax relief.[254]

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%).[255]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Galeton Area School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and a costly sports program. The school board determines eligibility policies to participate in these programs.[256]

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.[257]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[258][259]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[260]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[261][262][263]

The District funds:

Varsity
Junior High School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2014 [264]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ NCES, Common Core of Data - Galeton Area School District, 2012
  3. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Galeton Area School District, 2016
  4. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Galeton Area School District, 2012
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Galeton Area School District Fast Facts 2014". 
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 6, 2014). "Galeton Area School District Fast Facts 2014". 
  7. ^ PDE, Galeton Area School District Fast Facts 2013, October 10, 2013
  8. ^ PDE, Enrollment and projections by LEA and School, July 2011
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Enrollment and Projections by School District 2009
  10. ^ Galeton Area School District Administration, Galeton Area School District Financial Information Notice, May 2016
  11. ^ PDE, Galeton Area School District Financial Information, 2015
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  27. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pennsylvania School Code, 2013
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Coordinates: 41°40′56″N 77°36′22″W / 41.68214°N 77.60604°W / 41.68214; -77.60604