Richland School District (Cambria County, Pennsylvania)

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Richland School District
Map of Cambria County Pennsylvania School Districts
Address
319 Schoolhouse Road
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Cambria County 15904
United States of America
Information
Closed Richland MS July 2007, Richland SHS, 2007, Rachel Hill ES (1998)
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent

Arnold J Nadonley, M'eD (contract July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2019)[1] Salary $114,750 (2014-15)[2]

Mr. Thomas Fleming former superintendent salary $105,994 (2013)
Administrator

Corina L Long, Business Manager (2015)
Mrs. Mary Beth Prociuk, Dr. Special Ed
Mrs. Tracie Pollock, Director of Food Services
Prociuk, Mary Beth, Coord. Health wellness $76,276

In-Shore Technology Services
Principal Brandon Bailey, HS salary $87,270 (2013)
Principal Gregg Wilson, ES
Staff 43 non teaching staff members (2012)[3]
Faculty 89 teachers (2012)
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Enrollment

1,632 pupils (2014)[4]
1,600 pupils (2012)[5]
1,601 pupils (2010)[6]

1,605 pupils (2006)
 • Kindergarten 122 (2013),[7] 87 (2010)
 • Grade 1 111 (2013), 117
 • Grade 2 124 (2013), 112
 • Grade 3 122 (2013), 121
 • Grade 4 98 (2013), 122
 • Grade 5 129 (2013), 122
 • Grade 6 138 (2013), 123
 • Grade 7 123 (2013), 120
 • Grade 8 136 (2013), 136
 • Grade 9 130 (2013), 164
 • Grade 10 122 (2013), 105
 • Grade 11 126 (2013), 132
 • Grade 12 151 (2013), 140 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to be 1,500 pupils in 2020[8]
Language English
Color(s) Red, White, and Blue
Team name Rams
Budget

$21,771,649 (2015-16)[9]

$21.2 million (2013-14)[10]
Per pupil spending $13,259 (2008)
Per pupil spending $11,887.39 (2012)
Website

The Richland School District is a small, rural, public school district in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. It serves the borough of Geistown and the Township of Richland. It encompasses approximately 25 square miles. According to 2010 federal census data, the district served a resident population of 14,902 people.[11] The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 90% high school graduates and 26.8% college graduates.[12] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 23.6% 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.[13] In 2009 the Richland School District residents' per capita income was $18,883, while the median family income was $45,694.[14] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[15] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[16] In Cambria County, the median household income was $39,574.[17] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[18] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[19]

Per District officials, in school year 2007-08, the Richland School District provided basic educational services to 1,608 pupils. It employed: 105 teachers, 40 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 8 administrators. Richland School District received more than $4.9 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. According to District officials, in school year 2009-10 the Richland School District provided basic educational services to 1,600 pupils. It employed: 102 teachers, 30 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 7 administrators. Richland School District received more than $5.5 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.

The Richland School District operates two schools: Richland Elementary School (Grades K-6) and Richland High School (Grades 7-12). High school students may choose to attend Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Appalachia Intermediate Unit IU8 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, background checks for employees, state mandated recognizing and reporting child abuse training, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Richland 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.[20] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills. The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. 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.[21]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the Richland School Board and District administration a "D-" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[22] In 2015 the District web site provided: current budget, Board members names, current year regular meetings annual schedule, regular meeting minutes, current meeting agenda.[23]

Academic achievement[edit]

Richland School District ranked 111th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2015.[24] The statewide 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.[25] 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.

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Richland School District was in the 86th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[32]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Richland School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[33] In 2011, Richland School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of Pennsylvania public school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[34][35] Richland 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.[36]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, the District’s graduation rate was 92%.[37]

  • 2013 - 80% [38]
  • 2012 - 95%
  • 2011 - 96%.[39]
  • 2010 - 95%, Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[40]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 - 95%[41]
  • 2009 - 95%
  • 2007 - 96%[42]

Richland High School[edit]

Richland High School is located at One Academic Avenue, Johnstown. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 788 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 22.6% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 8.6% of pupils received special education services, while 2% of pupils were identified as gifted.[43] The school employed 43 teachers.[44] Per the PA Department of Education, 2% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school is not a Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the School reported an enrollment of 771 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 117 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. In 2012, the School employed 43 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 17.7:1.[45] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 19% of courses were taught by teachers who were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[46]

2014 School Performance Profile

Richland High School achieved 83.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 85.9% of pupils were reading on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 83% showed on grade level math skills. In Science/Biology 1, 72% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. In Writing - 73% of 8th graders demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[47][48] 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%.[49]

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.[50] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[51][52]

2013 School Performance Profile

Richland High School achieved 80.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 86% of pupils were on grade level. In math/Algebra 1, 74% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In science/Biology, 71.8% showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 71% of 8th graders demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[53] 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.[54]

AYP History

In 2012, Richland High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[55] In 2009 through 2011, Richland High School achieved AYP status.[56] In 2008, Richland High School was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student academic achievement.[57] AYP status for Richland High School was not reported prior to 2008 due to the District combining 7th through 12th grades in one school building. Earlier AYP reporting was under Richland Middle School and Richland Senior High School.[58]

PSSAs

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.[59] 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.[60] Effective with Spring 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education discontinued administering the PSSA's to 11th graders.

11th Grade Reading

  • 2012 - 87% on grade level, (5% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[61]
  • 2011 - 74% (11% below basic). State - 69.1%[62]
  • 2010 - 81% (9% below basic). State - 66%[63]
  • 2009 - 77% (9% below basic). State - 65%[64]
  • 2008 - 73% (11% below basic). State - 65%[65]
  • 2007 - 88% (6% below basic). State - 65%[66]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 70% on grade level (17% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[67]
  • 2011 - 61%, (22% below basic). State - 60.3%[68]
  • 2010 - 68%, (17% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 60% (15.5% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 58% (17% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2007 - 70% (9% below basic). State - 53%

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 57% on grade level (4% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[69]
  • 2011 - 44% (12% below basic). State - 40%[70]
  • 2010 - 47% (7% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 53% (8.5% below basic). State - 40%[71]
  • 2008 - 41%, (11% below basic). State - 39%

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 10% of the Richland 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.[72] 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.[73] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Richland School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 25 credits to graduate, including: Math 4 credits, English 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Physical Education 1.6 credits, Health 0.6 credits, Arts/Humanities 2 credits and electives 5.8 credits.[74] The District offers a Learn and Earn program where students may take a reduced course load their senior year, giving them time to take college courses or work. The high school also has an Associate in High School plan which allows students to accelerate their studies and earn two years of college credits.[75]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[76] 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.[77]

By Pennsylvania State 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 respective Keystone Exams for each course.[78] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[79]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student be successful. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[80][81] 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.[82] 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.[83] 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.

Challenge Program[edit]

The Challenge Program offers $250.00 cash incentives to Senior High School students who excel in the categories of: Academic Improvement, Attendance, Community Service and Academic Excellence. The program partners with businesses to motivate students both in and out of the classroom by encouraging good habits in students that will last throughout their education and into their future careers. For the 2010-2011 school year, the top 10% of students in each of the categories will be eligible to win $250.00.[84]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, 111 Richland School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 492. The Math average score was 501. The Writing average score was 503.[85][86] 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.[87] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 95 Richland School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was . The Math average score was . The Writing average score was . 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.[88]

In 2012, 95 Richland School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 493. The Math average score was 498. The Writing average score was 495. 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, 82 School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 505. The Math average score was 492. The Writing average score was 493.[89] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[90] 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.[91]

In 2011, 110 Richland School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 484. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 470.[89] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[90] 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.[91]

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a research arm of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[92]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2014, Richland High School offered 3 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. The fee for each AP Exam was $91 (2014).[93] The school retains $9 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs. In 2012, the fee was $89 per test per pupil. 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 Richland High School 24.8% of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[94]

Junior high school[edit]

Seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006, under the federal mandates of NCLB. 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.[95] 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.[96] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[59] In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[97]

PSSA Results

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 82% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 59%[104]
  • 2011 - 77% (10% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 76% (9% below basic). State - 57%[105]
  • 2009 - 70% (6% below basic). State - 55%[106]
  • 2008 - 63%, State - 52%[107]
Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Richland School District did not implement a state dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school.[108] The process identifies students at risk for droping 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.[109]

Elementary School[edit]

Richland Elementary School is located at 321 Schoolhouse Road. In 2014, the Richland Elementary School enrollment was 844 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 30% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 10% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2% are identified as gifted.[110] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 76% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten since 2012.[111] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, enrollment was 829 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 154 pupils receiving a free or reduced price lunch. The School employed 46 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 18:1.[112] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[113] The school provided full day kindergarten to all its pupils.[114]

2014 School Performance Profile

Richland Elementary School achieved a score of 90 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 72% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, 70% 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, only 75% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[115]

2013 School Performance Profile

Richland Elementary School achieved a score of 92 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 6th. In 3rd grade, 84% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 81% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 76% of 6th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[116]

AYP History[edit]

Richland Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status each school year 2003 through 2012.[117] Attendance rate was 95% in 2011 and 96% in 2010.[118]

PSSA History

Each year, in the Spring, in order to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Law, 3rd graders and sixth graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[119] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[120][121][122] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[123] The first cohort of children who attended Accountability Block Grant funded full-day kindergarten reached third grade and took the PSSAs in the spring of 2008.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 85%, (2% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 89%, (3% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 89%, (4% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 95%, (0% below basic), State - 83%
  • 2008 - 97%, (0% below basic), State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, Richland School District administration reported that 164 pupils or 10% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 38% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[129] In December 2010, the district administration reported that 160 pupils or 10% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[130]

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress .[131] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the district's Special Education Department.[132]

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.[133] 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.[134] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[135] Overidentification 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 services.[136] 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.

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[137] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSAs.[138] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[139] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[140]

Richland School District received a $$731,871 supplement for special education services in 2010.[141] 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. This level funding was 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.[142] For the 2014-2015 school year, ASD received an increase to $737,754 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[143] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

In 2013, the state's Special Education Funding Reform Commission provided a report on the state of funding for special education in the Commonwealth.[144] 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 25 or 1.55% of its students were gifted in 2009.[145] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[146][147]

Bullying policy[edit]

In 2009, the administrative reported there was one incident of bullying in the district.[148][149]

The Richland School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[150] 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.[151] 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.[152]

Education standards relating to student safety and anti-harassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[153]

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.[154]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Richland School District was $59,242 a year, with a top salary of $113,543. The district employed 124 teachers and administrators.[155] Richland 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.)[156] 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.[157]

In 2009, Richland School District reported employing 126 teachers with a salary range of $37,943 to $102,907.[158] The median teacher salary was $55,528.[159]

In 2007, the district employed 93 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $52,879 for 180 days worked.[160] 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.[161] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[159]

Administration costs Richland School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $643 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[162] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent for the 2007-08 school year was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[163]

Per pupil spending In 2008, the Richland School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $13,259 which ranked 395th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the Richland School District’s per pupil spending was $12,075.20.[164] In 2013, the per pupil spending was reported as $11,887.39.[165] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[166] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[167]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[168] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[167] 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]

Reserves In 2008, the district reported a zero balance in its unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $4,927,395.[171] In 2010, Richland School District Administration reported an increase to $8,897,685 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District also reported $7,976 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[172] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[173] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[174][175][176] In 2013, Richland School District reported having $9,325,522 in its assigned reserve balance and another $1,713,577 in its unassigned fund.

Audit In September 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board by state officials.[177]

Tuition Students who live in the District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Richland 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 Richland School District schools. The 2013 tuition rates are Elementary School - $6,957.32, High School - $7,874.98.[178]

Richland School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%; a local services tax - $5 per annum; a per capita tax - $5 per annum; a property tax; a real estate transfer tax 0.5%; a mercantile tax - 0.08%; 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 individual's wealth.[179] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year, plus they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[180]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Richland School District receives 27.2% of its annual revenue from the state.[181][182]

For the 2014-15 school year, Richland School District received $3,036,349 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $66,386 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.[183] The Pennsylvania 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.[184]

In the 2013-2014 school year, Richland School District received a 2.5% increase or $3,038,213 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $72,911 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Richland School District received $36,379 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Cambria County, Westmont Hilltop School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 2.5%. The District had 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.[185] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland School District, where over 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[186] 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.[187]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Richland School District received $$2,965,302.[188] 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. Richland School District received another $36,379 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[189] 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, Richland School District received a $2,965,302 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[190] Additionally, the Richland School District will receive $36,379 in Accountability Block Grant funding. 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.[191] 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.[192] In 2010, the district reported that 272 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[193]

For the 2010-11 budget year, Richland School District received a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding (BEF) for a total of $3,194,937. The highest increase in Cambria County was awarded to Westmont Hilltop School District a 10.14% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[194] Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[195]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 5.63% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $3,132,291 to Richland School District. Among the public school districts in Cambria County, the highest increase went to Westmont Hilltop School District which got an 8.22%. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[196] The amount of increase each school district received was set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[197]

The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $2,965,301.81. The Department of Education reported that 254 students, attending school at the Richland School District, received a free or reduced-price lunch in 2007 due to low family income.

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004–2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010–11 the district applied for and received $98,740.00, in addition to all other state and federal funding. The Richland School District uses the funding to provide low class sizes in K-3rd grades and to improve science programs.[198][199]

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.[200]

Richland School District received $102,765 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

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. The Richland School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. In 2007-08. The District received $200,887. The District received $45,413 in 2008-09.[201][202] Among the public school districts in Cambria County, the highest award was given to Greater Johnstown School District which received $463,166. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Hybrid Learning grants[edit]

Richland School District participated in a pilot year of the state’s Hybrid learning initiative. Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning uses three learning models to increase student achievement: instruction from the teacher, group activities, and self-instruction through digital content. According to state testing results, among the pilot schools, 88 percent achieved higher academic performance in hybrid classes compared to traditional classes in the same district or statewide benchmarks, 75 percent reported better academic achievement, and all of them met or exceeded academic growth.[203] In 2013-14, the state awarded $633,000 in federal Title 2A funds to accelerate teacher training in the implementation of hybrid learning programs in 50 school buildings in 34 school entities. In 2012, $1.1 million was awarded to 15 districts to launch the first hybrid pilot schools in the state that included more than 1,900 students and 48 teachers.[204] Richland School District received $17,500.

Other grants[edit]

The Richland School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants;[205][206] PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[207] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[208] 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Richland School District received an extra $733,265 in ARRA - Federal stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[209] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[210]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Richland School District officials applied for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement. 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.[211] 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.[212][213][214]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[215] 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 school board at 48.9500 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.[216] Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. 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.[217] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[218] 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.[219]

The average yearly property tax paid by Cambria County residents amounts to about 2.4% of their yearly income. Cambria County ranked 1048th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[230] 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.[231] 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%).[232] Pennsylvania's 2011 tax burden of 10.35% ranked 10th highest out of 50 states. The tax burden was above the national average of 9.8%. Pennsylvania's taxpayers paid $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes, including school taxes.[233]

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 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.[234] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Index.[235] The following 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 taking into account on the PSERS contribution rate.[236]

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

For the 2014-15 budget year, Richland 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).[242] 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.[243]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Richland 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.[244]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Richland School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. In 2012-13, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 12.36% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For 2012-2013 budget year, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; while 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.[245]

For the 2011-12 school year, Richland School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Richland School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[246]

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.[247]

Richland School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[248] For 2009-10 school budget, the board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index.[249] 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.[250]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Richland School District was $62 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,730 property owners applied for the tax relief.[251] 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 Cambria County, 54.33% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[252] In Cambria County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to approved property owners in Ferndale Area School District who got a $214 property tax cut. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[253] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently, individual with income much 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.[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]

Wellness policy[edit]

Richland School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[256] 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.[257]

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

The District offers both 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.[259] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[260]

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.[261] 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.[262] 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.[263] 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.[264][265]

Richland 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.[266][267] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[268]

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2009 Richland School District received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. Richland High School received $9,086 which was used to purchase Wii System, Dance Dance Revolution and cardiovascular equipment for students in grades 7-12. Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5-year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools.[269]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Richland School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive sports. In 2014, the District reports spending over $806,000 for student activities. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). The District is compliant with state law posting its Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form on its website.[270] Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[271]

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 home-schooled, 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.[272]

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.[273][274][275]

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.[276][277]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[278]

Varsity
Junior High School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2015[279]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PDE, ED Names and Addresses, September 2015
  2. ^ David Hurst (May 13, 2014). "Richland names schools chief". The Tribune Democrat. 
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Common Core of Data Richland School District 2012, 2015
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Richland School District District Fast Facts". 
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections report, July 2012
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections report, July 20, 2010
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "Public School Enrollment Reports". 
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Enrollment and Projections by school district,". 
  9. ^ Arnold J Nadonley, Superintendent (June 30, 2015). "Richland School District Budget report to the PDE" (PDF). 
  10. ^ David Hurst (May 13, 2013). "Richland tentatively OKs budget with no tax hike". The Tribune Democrat. 
  11. ^ US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Poverty Data by Local Education Agency, 2011
  12. ^ proximityone (2014). "School District Comparative Analysis Profiles". 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Education Facts Student Poverty Concentration by LEA, 2012
  14. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder 2009, 2009
  15. ^ US Census Bureau, (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". 
  16. ^ US Census Bureau (September 2011). "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010" (PDF). 
  17. ^ US Census Bureau (2014). "Pennsylvania Median household income, 2006-2010 by County". 
  18. ^ Michael Sauter & Alexander E.M. Hess, (August 31, 2013). "America's most popular six-figure jobs". USA Today. 
  19. ^ Jeff Guo (September 15, 2015). "Lower wages for whites, higher wages for immigrants, and inequality for all". Washington Post. 
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Code Governance 2010
  21. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pennsylvania School Code, 2013
  22. ^ The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives. "The Pennsylvania Project". Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  23. ^ Richland School District Administration (2015). "Richland School Board information". 
  24. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 10, 2015). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2015". 
  25. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "What makes up a district's School Performance Profile score?". 
  26. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "Western Pennsylvania School Guide 2014". 
  27. ^ "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2013". Pittsburgh Business Times. April 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2012, April 4, 2012
  29. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 4, 2011). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings information 2011". Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. 
  30. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 30, 2010). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2010". 
  31. ^ "Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County". Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007. 
  32. ^ "2009 PSSA RESULTS Richland School District". 2009. 
  33. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Richland School District AYP Overview 2012". 
  34. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "About Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in Pennsylvania". 
  35. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Public School District AYP History, 2011
  36. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania District AYP History 2003-2010, 2011
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