Muncy School District

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Muncy School District
Map of Lycoming County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
46 South Main Street
Muncy, Pennsylvania, Lycoming County 17756-1346
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent

Craig Skaluba[1][2]

former Superintendent Dr. Portia Brandt (salary $105,366 2009) Contract 2011 - June 30, 2016) announced intent to retire in 2015[3] Salary $110,000 in 2013[4]
School number (570) 546-3125
Administrator

Mr David J Edkin, Business Manager
Dr. Kimberly Hamilton, Dr. of Curriculum and Instruction
Mrs. April Farrell, Special Education Coordinator
Mr. Thomas Kuntz, Food Service Director
Mr. Jerry Knier, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds

Mr. Chris Frey, Technology Support Specialist
Director Mr. Curt Chilson, Athletic Director
Principal Mr Timothy Welliver, JHSH
Principal Mr Frank Jankowski, MES
Staff 85 non teaching staff (2012)
Faculty 80.50 teachers (2010)
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education students
Pupils

1,027 pupils (2016-17)[5]
1,041 pupils (2015-16)[6]
1,007 pupils (2014-15),[7]
1,025 pupils (2013-14),
973 pupils (2009-10)[8]

1,059 pupils (2006-07)[9]
 • Kindergarten 89 (2012), 64 (2010)
 • Grade 1 71 (2012), 79
 • Grade 2 90 (2012), 66
 • Grade 3 77 (2012), 65
 • Grade 4 65 (2012), 75
 • Grade 5 73 (2012), 78
 • Grade 6 79 (2012), 67
 • Grade 7 83 (2012), 81
 • Grade 8 83 (2012), 92
 • Grade 9 81 (2012), 75
 • Grade 10 86 (2012), 67
 • Grade 11 73 (2012), 90
 • Grade 12 67 (2012), 74 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to remain near 900 through 2019 [10]
Language English
Budget

$16, 691,289 (2014-2015)[11] $15.1 million [12]

$14.1 million (2010-11)[13]
Tuition or nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,641.76, HS - $10,688.02 [14]
Per-pupil spending

$12,585 (2008)
$13,035.72 (2010)

$13,963.14 (2012)
Website

The Muncy School District is small, rural, public school district located in southern Lycoming County. The school serves the borough of Muncy, plus the affiliated townships of Muncy Township and Muncy Creek Township. The mascot of the school is the Indian. Muncy School District encompasses approximately 36 square miles (93 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 7,209. By 2010, the district's population declined to 7,042 people.[15] The educational attainment levels for the population 25 and over were 87.2% high school graduates and 19.8% college graduates.[16]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 32.8% of the district's pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level [1] as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[17] The District residents' per capita income was $17,107, while the median family income was just $39,678.[18] In Lycoming County, the median household income was $45,430.[19] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[20] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[21] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[22]

According to district officials, in school year 2005-06, the Muncy School District provided basic educational services to 1,039 pupils. It employed: 84 teachers, 75 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 7 administrators. District officials reported that in school year 2007-08, the Muncy School District provided basic educational services to 1,018 pupils employing: 86 teachers, 60 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 11 administrators. Muncy School District received more than $5.2 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. In 2010, Muncy School District officials reported having 1,016 pupils. The district employed: 87 teachers, 64 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 6 administrators during the 2009-10 school year. The district received $5.1 million in state funding in the 2009-10 school year. By the 2014-15 school year, the administration reported 1,041 pupils. The district employed: 82 teachers, 54 staff and increased to 11 administrators. The district received $5,963,273 in state funding.[23]

The Muncy School District operates 2 schools: Ward L. Myers Elementary School (grades K-6) and Muncy Junior-Senior High School (grades 7-12). Both schools have been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. High school students can attend the Lycoming Career and Technology Center for training in the building trades, drafting & design careers, criminal justice careers, allied health careers, culinary arts and other careers. The Muncy School District contracts with the BLaST Intermediate Unit #17 for services such as psychological testing, preemployment criminal background screening, occupational and physical therapy services.

Muncy School District uses a computer app to communicate with pupils, parents and community members at-large. The app is a free download from several sources.[24]

Governance[edit]

The Muncy School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve without compensation for a term of four years), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[25] 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 its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[26] 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.[27]

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 regarding renewal of the employment contract.[28] These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state's Right to Know Act. 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.[29] In 2016, these goals are not posted in the District's website.[30]

Academic achievement[edit]

Muncy School District was ranked 186th out of 494 Pennsylvania school districts in 2016, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33]

Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Muncy School District ranked 231st. In 2011, the district was 187th. [41] 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 lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[42]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2011 and 2012, Muncy School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).[43] In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[44] Muncy School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[45]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Muncy School District, was in the 41st percentile, among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) [46]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2016, Muncy School District's graduation rate was 93.3%.[47]

Traditional calculation graduation rate

High School[edit]

Muncy Junior-Senior High School is located at 200 W Penn Street, Muncy. In 2015, the school reported a decline in enrollment to 443 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 34% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14% of pupils received special education services, while 2% of pupils were identified as gifted. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, Muncy Junior-Senior High School reported enrollment of 469 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 27% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.7% of pupils received special education services, while 1.7% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 38 teachers.[58] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school was not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Muncy Junior-Senior High School reported an enrollment of 467 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 124 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch, making it a Title I School. The school employed 40 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[59] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the No Child Left Behind Act.[60]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 70.8 out of 100 points. Muncy Junior Senior High School Keystone Exams mandated testing results were: 75% of students were on grade level in reading/literature and just 49% of students demonstrated on grade level in Algebra I. In Biology I, 68.5% of pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the Biology course.[61] The requirement that pupils pass the Keystone Exams in reading, algebra I and bIology I in order to graduate was postponed until 2019 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly because less than 60% of 12 grade pupils statewide would have been eligible for graduation from high school due to failing one or more Keystone Exams.[62] Fifty-four percent of the 2,676 public schools in Pennsylvania achieved a passing score of 70 or better.[63]

2015 School Performance Profile

Muncy Junior-Senior High School achieved 72.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 85% of the school's students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 76% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, only 36% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[64] 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.[65][66]

2014 School Performance Profile

Muncy Junior Senior High School achieved 80.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 78.9% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 77.5% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 51.6% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[67][68] 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%.[69]

2013 School Performance Profile

Muncy Junior Senior High School achieved 81.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 80% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 81% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 58% showed on grade level science understanding. In 8th grade writing, 84% showed on grade level writing skills.[70] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[71]

AYP history

In 2010 through 2012, Muncy Junior Senior High School achieved AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2002.[72] The School achieved AYP tatus every school year since 2003. Effective with Spring 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education discontinued administering the PSSA's to 11th graders.

PSSA results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[73]

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.[74]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 84% on grade level, (7% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[75]
  • 2011 - 82% (9% below basic). State - 69.1% [76]
  • 2010 - 81%, (13% below basic). State - 66% [77]
  • 2009 - 80% (7% below basic), State - 65% [78]
  • 2008 - 77% (11% below basic), State - 65%[79]
  • 2007 - 78% (12% below basic), State - 65% [80]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 65% on grade level (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[81]
  • 2011 - 77%, (12% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 64%, (16(% below basic). State - 59% [82]
  • 2009 - 61% (19% below basic). State - 56% [83]
  • 2008 - 57% (18% below basic). State - 56% [84]
  • 2007 - 56% (21% below basic). State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 54% on grade level (4% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[85]
  • 2011 - 55%, (6% below basic). State - 40% [86]
  • 2010 - 47%, (10% below basic), State - 39%
  • 2009 - 57%, (11% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2008 - 45%, (14% below basic). State - 39%

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 7% of Muncy Senior High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[87] 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.[88] 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 mathematics or English.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 48 Muncy School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 485. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 471.[89] The College Board also reported that statewide 96,826 pupils took the exams with average scores declining in all three measurers to: 495 in reading, 511 in math and 484 in writing.[90]

In 2014, 64 Muncy School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 484. The Math average score was 489. The Writing average score was 472.[91][92] 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.[93] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 49 Muncy School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 491. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 496. 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.[94]

In 2012, 43 Muncy School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 496. The Math average score was 515. The Writing average score was 490. 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, 50 Muncy School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 477. The Math average score was 499. The Writing average score was 469.[95] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[96] 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.[97]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Muncy Junior Senior High School offered 5 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. The student pays the fee for the exam which was $89 per test per pupil in 2012. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Muncy High School 53% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[98]

In 2015, Muncy Junior Senior High School offered 10 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Just 43% of the students who took the courses achieved a 3 or better on the College Board AP exams.[99] In 2016, Muncy Junior Senior High School continued to offer 10 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. 53.8% of the students who took the courses achieved a 3 or better on the College Board AP exams.[100]

Penn College NOW

In 2014, Muncy School District does not participate in dual enrollment courses in conjunction with Pennsylvania College of Technology. Penn College NOW classes are taught by approved local high school teachers, at the high school.[101] Penn College NOW is partially funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-270) through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, by the support of Pennsylvania companies through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and by Pennsylvania College of Technology. Most school districts in Lycoming County are participating.

Junior High School[edit]

2016 School Performance Profile

Muncy Junior High School PSSA mandated testing results were: 70% of students in 8th grade were on grade level in reading, while only 33% of students demonstrated on grade level in mathematics. In science, 60% of eighth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[102] In 7th grade, 69% of pupils were on grade level in reading, while just 42% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Statewide just 31% of eighth graders demonstrated on grade level in math and 58% of eighth graders were on grade level in reading. In science, 57.7% of eighth graders showed on grade level proficiency. Among 7th graders, just 37% of students demonstrated on grade evel skills in mathematics. In seventh grade reading, 58% were on grade level.[103]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores. It was reported that 55% of 8th grade students at Muncy Junior High School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 35% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 60% of the school's 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 69% were on grade level in reading, while 44% showed on grade level math skills.[104] Statewide 58% of eighth (8th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 29% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 7th graders were 58% on grade level in reading and 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills.

APY history

Muncy Junior High School achieved AYP status in 2010 and 2011.

PSSA History

Seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[105] Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[106] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[73] In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[107]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 78% on grade level (4% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.
  • 2011 - 71%, (15% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 - 77%, 48% advanced (10% below basic). State - 81% [108]
  • 2009 - 80%, 58% advanced (7% below basic). State - 80%
  • 2008 - 85%, 60% advanced (8% below basic). State - 78%
  • 2007 - 84%, 57% advanced (8% below basic). State - 75%[109]
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 66%, 35% advanced, (11% below basic). State - 76%
  • 2011 - 70%, 48% advanced, (13% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 64%, 39% advanced, (15% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2009 - 64%, 38% advanced, (16% below basic). State - 71%
  • 2008 - 79%, 63% advanced, (11% below basic). State - 70% [110]
  • 2007 - 77%, 43% advanced, (8% below basic). State - 67%
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 63% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 53%, (27% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 60%, (23% below basic). State - 57%.
  • 2009 - 51%, (15% below basic). State: - 54% [111]
  • 2008 - 74%, (14% below basic). State - 52% [112]
7th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 89%, 51% advanced (1% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2011 - 79%, 39% advanced (6% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2010 - 63%, 34% advanced (21% below basic). State - 73%
  • 2009 - 73%, 40% advanced (9% below basic). State - 71.7%
  • 2008 - 77%, 45% advanced (7% below basic). State - 70%
  • 2007 - 83%, 46% advanced (10% below basic). State - 66%
7th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 85%, 64% advanced (4% below basic). State - 80%
  • 2011 - 85%, 51% advanced (6% below basic). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 - 74%, 49% advanced (14% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2009 - 84%, 51% advanced (7% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2008 - 81%, 54% advanced (11% below basic). State - 72%
  • 2007 - 88%, 67% advanced (9% below basic). State - 67%
Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Muncy School District did not implement the free dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school.[113] The process identifies students at risk for dropping out by examining the pupil's: attendance, behavior and course grades. Interventions are implemented to assist at-risk pupils to remain in school. The program is funded by federal and private dollars.[114]

Myers Elementary School[edit]

Ward L Myers Elementary School is located at 125 New Street, Muncy. In 2015, the school's enrollment was 598 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 42% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 13% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.8% are identified as gifted.[115] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full-day kindergarten since 2005.[116] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, the school's enrollment was 556 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 37% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.9% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[117] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind Act. The school provides full-day kindergarten.[118]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the Myers Elementary School reported an enrollment of 549 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 222 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty, makin gthe school a Title I school. The school employed 41 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[119] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[120]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP was 65.3 points out of 100. Ward L Myers Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 73% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while 59% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In fifth grade, 76% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading and 60% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 70% were on grade level in reading, while 56% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 91% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 68% were on grade level in reading and 61% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[121][122]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 76% of 5th grade students at Ward L. Myers Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 56% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 79% were on grade level in reading, while 63% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 85% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 78% were on grade level in reading and 67% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 69% were on grade level in reading and 44% were on grade level in mathematics.[123] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[124]

2014 School Performance Profile

Myers Elementary School achieved a score of 89.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, 80% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 82% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 88% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[125]

2013 School Performance Profile

Ward L. Myers Elementary School achieved a score of 92.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 73% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 88% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[126]

AYP history

In 2010 through 2012, Myers Elementary School achieved AYP status.[127] In 2011, the school reports a 94% attendance rate.[128] In 2010, the school reported a 95% attendance rate. The school achieved AYP status each year since 2003.

PSSA Results
4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 89%, 52% advanced. State - 82%
  • 2011 - 94%, 64% advanced. State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 92%, 51% advanced. State - 81%
  • 2009 - 93%, 55% advanced. State - 83%
  • 2008 - 83%, 43% advanced. State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2015, Muncy School District administration reported that 157 pupils, or 15.2% of the district's pupils, received special education services, with 46.5% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[137]

In 2010, Muncy School District administration reported that 146 pupils, or 14.2% of the district's pupils, received Special Education services, with 52% of its identified students having a specific learning disability.[138] In December 2010, the District administration reported that 141 pupils, or 14.1% of the district's pupils, received special education services, with 62% of its identified students having a specific learning disability. In 2009, the administration reported that 153 pupils, or 15% of the district's pupils, received special education services.[139]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full-day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full-day kindergarten would be recouped by districts in lower special education costs.[140] Muncy School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2005. The district has seen an increase in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

The district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. 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 Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance 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 Special Education Department.[141]

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[142] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSA.[143] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[144]

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.[145] 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.[146] 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.[147] 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.[148] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[149]

Muncy School District received a $596,821 supplement for special education services in 2010.[150] The state funding for the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013–14 school years was the same as 2010-11. The enacted state budget included $1,026,815,000, for the 2011-2012 Special Education appropriation.[151]

  • 2014-15 school year - Muncy School District received an increase to $606,639 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[152]
  • 2016-17 school year - Muncy School District received a 1.9% increase in state special education funding to $637,363.[153]

In 2013, the state's Special Education Funding Reform Commission provided a report on the state of funding for special education in the Commonwealth.[154] Funding for special education programs is borne largely on a local basis at 60%, with the state contributing $1 billion or 30% and the federal government providing 10% of the funding.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 23 or 2.26% of its students were gifted in 2009.[155] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor. This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, 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.[156]

Monitoring[edit]

In 2010, Muncy School District was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Least Restrictive Environment monitoring. One hundred ninety six schools districts were selected in 2008-09. The district received an alert letter from the PDE - Bureau of Special Education.[157] School districts were placed in one of three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. The district was placed in Tier 3 due to students spending more than 60% of the school day, outside of regular education. The monitoring is a product of the PDE addressing its voluntary settlement in Gaskin V. Pennsylvania which ordered that special education students spend most of their school day (80%) in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services to assist funded by the taxpayers.[158][159][160] In 2010, the district was assigned to the Tier 3 monitoring list, due to students spending over 80% of their day in a regular education classroom. The district received a letter of "Warning" letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[161]

Teacher evaluation study[edit]

In 2011, Muncy School District agreed to participate in a pilot program to develop a new way to evaluate teachers that, in part, takes into account student achievement. Several York County school districts are participating.[162] The pilot program had 104 K-12 entities, including: nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units. Beginning in January 2012, participating school districts will use the new evaluation method and provide feedback to the Department of Education. This new evaluation will not be used to determine an educator's official 2011-12 assessment. Under the new evaluation system, 50% of the evaluation of a teacher will be based on an observation divided into four categories: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. The other half will be based on student achievement (15 percent will be building-level data, 15 percent will be teacher-specific data, and 20 percent will be elective). The new evaluation system has both announced and unannounced observations. There are meetings between the teacher and evaluator before and after the direct observation of a lesson.[163]

Bullying policy[edit]

The Muncy School District administration reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district in 2009.[164][165]

The Muncy School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[166] 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.[167] 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.[168]

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.[169]

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.[170]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Muncy School District was $58,207 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $20,768 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $78,976.[171]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Muncy School District was $56,381.16 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $13,152.47 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $69,533.63.[172] 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.[173]

In 2009, Muncy School District reported employing over 80 teachers with a starting salary of $39,745 for 180 days for pupil instruction and 10 noninstructional days.[174] The average teacher salary was $56,138 while the maximum salary is $105,923.[175] 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.[176] Additionally, Muncy School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, 3 paid personal days (2 may carry over), 10 sick days and other benefits. Teachers are paid extra if they are required to work outside of the regular school day. Retiring teachers receive a bonus or up to $10,000. The union officers may take 3 days, with pay, for union business.[177] 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.[178]

In 2007, Muncy School District employed 76 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $50,091 for 180 school days worked.[179]

Muncy School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 were $906.21 per pupil. The district is ranked 100th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[180]

In 2008, Muncy School District reported spending $12,585 per pupil. This ranked 213th in the commonwealth.[181]

Reserves

In 2009, Muncy School District reported $1,559,883 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.[182]

Audits

In August 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Muncy School District. Findings were reported to the administration and school board.[183] In 2013, the District was cited by the Pennsylvania Auditor General's office for giving an excessive benefits payout to a former Administrator of over $50,000.[184] The audit found that the District's Board of School Directors entered into an agreement with a school administrator Richard J. Emery, that superseded the current employment compensation contract and provided the former Administrator with an additional $50,000 severance payment upon his retirement from the district.

Tuition Students who live in the Muncy 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 Muncy 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 - $9,454.31, High School - $11,291.81.[185]

The Muncy School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax - 1.75%, 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. 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.[186] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeded $60,000 a year plus retirees also receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[187] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[188][189]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, School District receives 39.2% of its annual revenue from the state.[190]

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.[191][192] The commission developed a new basic education funding formula which sets a new way to distribute state basic education dollars. It abolished the practice of "hold harmless" funding, which gave districts at least the same as they got the previous school year regardless of declining enrollment. The plan became law in June 2016 (House Bill 1552).[193][194][195]

For the 2016-17 school year, Muncy School District received $3,859,504 in Basic Education Funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a 2.5% increase over 2015-16 funding to the district. The highest percentage of BEF increase in Lycoming County was 5.4% awarded to Loyalsock Township School District under the state's Basic Education Funding formula. For the 2016-17 school year, Pennsylvania increased its public education spending to a record high of $5,895 billion. It was a $200 million increase, 3.51% increase over the 2015-16 appropriation.[196] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[197] The state also paid $492 million to the school employee social security fund and another $2.064 billion to the teacher's pension fund.[198] Statewide Conestoga Valley School District received a 13.3% increase in state BEF funding. Five PA public school districts received an increase of 10% or greater in Basic Education funding over their 2015-16 funding.

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $1,782,247 to Muncy School District, in January 2016.[199] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[200] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[201]

In compliance with a legislative mandate that was passed with veto proof majorities in the PA House and Senate,[202] the final BEF funding was determined for 2015-16, in April 2016. Muncy School District received $3,766,665 in Basic Education Funds for the 2015-16 school year. This was a 1.92% increase yielding a $70,968 increase over the previous school year funding. The district also received $134,126 in Ready to Learn funding from the state.[203]

For the 2014-15 school year, Muncy School District received $3,695,714 in State Basic Education funding. The district also received new Ready To Learn Block grant of $103,781. The district also received $666,567 towards the payment of the teachers pension obligations. The State's enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[204] 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.[205]

In the 2013-2014 school year, the Muncy School District received a 1.6% increase or $3,694,625 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $57,583 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the district. Additionally, Muncy School District received $47,948 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Lycoming County, Loyalsock Township School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 2.6%. 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.[206] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[207] As a part of the education budget, the state provided the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[208]

For the 2012-13 school year, Muncy School District received $3,684,990.[209] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 includes $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which is an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. The state also provides $100 million for the Accountability Block grant. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[210] This amount is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett's first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In 2011-12, Muncy School District received $3,636,933 in state Basic Education Funding.[211] Additionally, the district will receive $47,948 in Accountability Block Grant funding.[212] The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011. The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12.[213] Districts experienced a reduction in funding, due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.

In the 2010-11 school year, Muncy School District reported that 342 pupils received a free or reduced-price meals through the federal school lunch program, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.

For 2010-11, Muncy School District received a 2.8% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $3,813,636 payment.[214] Loyalsock Township School District received an 8.13% increase, which was the highest increase in BEF in Lycoming County. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010-11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010-11. The amount of increase each school district receives was determined by then Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education, Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[215] This was the second year of Governor Rendell's policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $3,709,672. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $3,636,933.18. The district also received supplemental funding for English language learners, Title 1 federal funding for low income students, for district size, a poverty supplement from the commonwealth and more.[216] Loyalsock Township School District received a 5.94% increase, the highest increase in Lycoming County for the 2009-10 school year. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[217] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 268 district students received free or reduced lunches due to low family income in the 2007-08 school year.[218]

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, Muncy School District applied for and received $130,143, in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 5th year.[219][220]

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. Muncy School District was denied funding in 2006-07. In 2007-08 the district received $104,940. For the 2008-09, school year the district received $45,413 for a total of $150,353. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.[221] In Lycoming County the highest award was given to Jersey Shore Area School District at $428,436. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

Federal Grants[edit]

The district received an extra $634,680 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low income students.[222] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[223] 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]

School district officials did not apply 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.[224] 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.[225] 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.[226]

English language learners grant[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to assist in educating immigrant children and children who are identified as limited English proficient.[227] Upon registering for school a language survey is done for all new enrollment pupils, typically in kindergarten or preschool. They identify the primary language spoken at home. This data is collected and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which in turn notifies the federal government.[228][229]

In 2012-13 - Muncy School District received $815 in Title III funding for English language learners.[230] For 2014-15, Muncy School District received 855 in Title III funding.[231]

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 "High Quality" teachers and principals as defined by the state.[232] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[233] 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, Muncy School District received $55,171 in federal Title II funding.[234] In 2014-15, Muncy School District applied for and received $51,531.[235]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Muncy School Board did 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.[236] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Muncy School Board set property tax rates in 2016-17 at 14.7500 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region. Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. 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 (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[237] The school district includes municipalities in three counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, necessitating a state board equalization of the tax rates between the counties.

The average yearly property tax paid by Lycoming County residents amounts to about 3.53% of their yearly income. Lycoming County ranked 364th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[248] 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.[249] 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%).[250]

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.[249] The average yearly property tax paid by Lycoming County residents amounts to about 3.53% of their yearly income. Lycoming County is ranked 364th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[251]

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 authorized to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but 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.[252] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[253] Several exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school's share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[254][255]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Muncy School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.[256]

For the 2016-17 budget year, Muncy School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the district's Act 1 Index limit: accelerating teach pension costs and rising special education costs.[263] Statewide 299 school districts adopted a resolution to not exceed their Act I index in 2016-17.

For the 2015-16 budget year, Muncy School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[264]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Muncy 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).[265] 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.[266]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Muncy School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher's pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[267]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Muncy School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index.[268]

For the 2011-12 school year, Muncy School Board applied for 4 exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: including rising teacher pension costs, Maintenance of Selected Revenue, Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue and increased special education costs. Each budget year, the Muncy School Board had the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they would 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.[269]

According to a state report, for the 2011-12 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district's index. Of the districts who sought exceptions 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[270]

Muncy School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009-10 or in 2010-2011.[271] 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.[272]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2016, Muncy School District approved 1,965 approved homestead properties to receive $168 each.[273]

In 2013, Muncy School District approved homestead properties received $169.[274] The decline in amount was related to more residents applying for tax relief and a decline in table games tax revenues. The amount received by the district must be divided equally among all approved residences.[275]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Muncy School District was $174 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 1,902 property owners applied for the tax relief.[276] The tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property on the individual's 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 69% of property owners applied for tax relief in Lycoming County.[277] In Lycoming County, the highest property tax relief in 2009 was $310 awarded to the approved property owners in Williamsport Area School District. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[278] This was the second year Chester Upland School District was the top recipient.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Muncy School District residents 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, consequently individuals who have income 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.[279]

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%).[280]

Enrollment and consolidation[edit]

Muncy School District is experiencing low enrollment in K-12. The Pennsylvania Department of Education projects the district's enrollment will remain below 1000 pupils through 2018.[281] Shifting population trends across the U.S. and Pennsylvania are affecting school enrollment and may impact the building needs of school districts in the years to come.[282] Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. 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).[283]

A study done by Standard and Poors in 2007 (at the request of the PA General Assembly) examined the district consolidating with neighboring Montgomery Area School District. It found that residents in both districts would realize substantial savings in a consolidation. Savings of over $1000 per pupil were estimated.[284] Consolidation of Muncy School District with East Lycoming School District was also reviewed. The study estimated a combined district savings of over $2 million in 2004.[284]

As a part of the study, superintendents were asked about savings, if their district were to merge with another district at the administrative level only, but not close any of their schools. It found 42% of the respondents believed consolidation would achieve cost reductions. Additionally, 63% of responding superintendents believed that consolidation with another district would help provide additional academic enrichment opportunities for the students.[285] 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.[286]

Wellness policy[edit]

Muncy School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[287] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 – 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[288]

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[289] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Muncy School District offers both a free school breakfast and a free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[290] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[291]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[292] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch.[293] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93.

In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[294] The Food and Drug Administration requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[295]

Muncy School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health's extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[296][297] Nurses also monitor each child's weight reporting it annually.[298]

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health made available to each Pennsylvania high school the overdose antidote drug naloxone in a nasal spray. School nurses were also provided with educational materials and training developed by the National Association of School Nurses.[299] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[300][301]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Muncy School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and 20 sports. Eligibility to participate is set by school board policies.[302][303] The District reported spending over $500,000 a year for extracurricular activities. More than half the dollars go to paying salaries for coaches.[304]

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.[305][306][307]

Muncy School District is affiliated with Heartland Conference and the Northern Tier League in Football. Several sports are offered in cooperation with Montgomery Area School District.[308]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities at Muncy School District, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[309][310][311]

Sports[edit]

Muncy School District coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[312] All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[313]

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.[314][315]

The district funds:

Junior high school sports
  • According to PIAA directory July 2016 [316]

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