Southern Tioga School District

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Southern Tioga School District
Map of Tioga County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
241 Main Street
Blossburg, Pennsylvania, Tioga County 16912
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed Cogan House ES 1991, North Penn JSHS 2014
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent

Mr. Samuel A Rotella, Jr, contract July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020)[1]

Former Superintendent Mr Keith D Yarger (March 2011-2014 salary $100,000)
School number 570.638.2183
Administrator

Mrs. Kathy Ciaciulli, Business Manager
Jesse Maine, Director of Curriculum and Technology
Krista Peterson, Super. of Special Education former Dr. Kelly Higgins, Super. of Special Ed.
Tammy Srough, Food Service Director
Thad Slocum, District Maintenance

Michael Wolff, District Network Admin.
Principal Mr. Bill David, Mansfield JSHS
Principal Mr. William Swingle, BES & Liberty Jr/Sr HS
Principal Joseph Eglesia, LES & North Penn Jr./Sr. HS
Principal Patty White, Warren L Miller ES
Staff 128 non teaching staff members (2014),[2] 140 non teaching staff members[3]
Faculty 154 teachers (2014), 165 teachers (2010)
Grades preschool, full day K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils

1,803 pupils (2015)[4]
1,799 pupils (2014)[5]
1,932 pupils (2013)
1,994 pupils in 2012[6]
2,067 pupils (2009-10)

2,518 pupils (1998)[7][8]
 • Kindergarten 142 (2013),[9] 136 (2010)
 • Grade 1 140 (2013), 145
 • Grade 2 145 (2013), 154
 • Grade 3 140 (2013), 151
 • Grade 4 150 (2013), 134
 • Grade 5 155 (2013), 158
 • Grade 6 163 (2013), 121
 • Grade 7 139 (2013), 158
 • Grade 8 144 (2013), 161
 • Grade 9 120 (2013), 213
 • Grade 10 154 (2013), 156
 • Grade 11 159 (2013), 155
 • Grade 12 181 (2013), 199 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment declining to 1,800 students by 2019 [10]
Language English
Budget

$27 million (2012)[11]
$28,975,399 (2008-09)
$26,826,932 (2007-08)[12]

$22,932,095 (2004-05)[13]
per pupil spending $12,259 (2008)
per pupil spending $16,698.74 (2010) 52nd in PA
Website
Southern Tioga School District region in Lycoming County

Southern Tioga School District is a small, rural public schools system located in northern Central Pennsylvania covering parts of Tioga County and Lycoming County. It encompasses 485 square miles (1,260 km2). According to 2010 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 15,551 making it a third class school district.The district operates schools in Mansfield, Liberty, and Blossburg. It serves residents in: Covington Township, Rutland Township, Richmond Township, Liberty Township, Bloss Township, Sullivan Township, Ward Township, Morris Township, and Hamilton Township, as well as Roseville Borough and Putnam. In Lycoming County, Southern Tioga School District serves both: Jackson Township and Cogan House Township.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 40.6% 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.[14] In 2013 the Pennsylvania Department of Education, reported that less than 10 students in the Southern Tioga School District were homeless.[15] In 2009, Southern Tioga School District residents' per capita income was $14,942, while the median family income was $39,106.[16] In Tioga County, the median household income was $44,178.[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]

According to District officials, in school year 2007-08, Southern Tioga School District provided basic educational services to 2,169 pupils through the employment of 192 teachers, 131 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 12 administrators. Southern Tioga School District received more than $13.6 million in state funding for school year 2007-08. In school year 2009-10, Southern Tioga School District provided basic educational services to 2,078 pupils. The District employed: 180 teachers, 114 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 12 administrators. Southern Tioga School District received more than $13.3 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.

Southern Tioga School District operates: 2 high schools (North Penn Mansfield Junior Senior High School and North Penn-Liberty High School) grades 7-12 and 3 elementary schools (Blossburg Elementary School, Liberty Elementary School and Warren Miller Elementary School grades kindergarten-6th grade.[20] Students residing in the Southern Tioga School District may choose to attend the District's myCyberCampus or one of the Commonwealth's 13 public, cyber charter schools.[21]

The BLaST Intermediate Unit IU17 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 criminal background check processing for prospective employees and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

The Southern Tioga 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.[22] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, (renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[23] 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.[24]

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. These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent and Business Manager regarding renewal of their employment contracts.[25] 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.[26]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[27]

Academic achievement[edit]

In October 2015, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported that Mansfield Junior Senior High School was among the 561 academically challenged schools that have been overlooked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[28][29] He also reported the Pennsylvania Department of Education failed to take any action to remediate the poorly performing schools to raise student academic achievement or to provide them with targeted professional assistance.[30]

Statewide academic ranking

Southern Tioga School District ranked 353rd out of the 493 ranked Pennsylvania school districts in 2015, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[31] The ranking was based on student academic performance as demonstrated in the last three years of PSSA results in: reading, writing, math and science. The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th, 8th and 11th grades.

Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Southern Tioga School District ranked 415th. [36] The editor describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[37]

  • 2012 - 290th[38]
  • 2011 - 248th

In 2009, the District was in the bottom 33 percentile for student academic achievement among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts.[39]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Southern Tioga School District remained in Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to low student achievement and a low graduation rate.[40] In 2011, Southern Tioga School District declined to Warning AYP status due to low student achievement in several schools and districtwide.[41] 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.[42]

  • 2009 and 2010 - achieved AYP status[43]
  • 2008 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement[44]
  • 2006 and 2007 - achieved AYP status[45]
  • 2005 - Making Progress School Improvement AYP status[46]
  • 2004 - declined to School improvement Level I AYP status. The school district administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the Southern Tioga School District must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[47]
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status [48]

District graduation rate[edit]

In 2012, Southern Tioga School District's graduation rate was 79%.[49] In 2011, the graduation rate from Southern Tioga School District was 92%.[50] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. The District's rate was 81.17% for 2010.[51]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Graduation requirements[edit]

Among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, graduation requirements widely vary. The Southern Tioga School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 26 credits to graduate, including: math 3 credits, English 4.5 credits, social studies 3 or 4 credits, science 3 or 4 credits, Physical Education 2 credits, 0.5 health credits, Community service 80 hours earns 1 credit, World Language 1 credit and electives 6 credits.[56]

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.[57] The focus on the project is career exploration.[58]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2018, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[59] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[60]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[61][62] 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.[63] 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.[64] 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.

Mansfield Junior Senior High School[edit]

Mansfield Junior Senior High School is located at 73 W Wellsboro Street, Mansfield. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 548 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 36% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 22% of pupils received special education services, while 4% of pupils were identified as gifted.[65] The school employed 35 teachers.[66] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[67]

In 2013, enrollment at Mansfield Junior Senior High School had declined to 409 pupils with 48% coming from low income homes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 468 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 171 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school employed 37 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[68] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind, while 7 had emergency certification.[69] Mansfield Junior Senior High School students may take college courses at a deeply discounted rate at Mansfield University through the school's dual enrollment program.

2015 School Performance Profile

Mansfield Junior Senior High School achieved 66 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.The PDE reported that 65% of the School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 57.8% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 61.9% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[70] 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.[71][72]

2014 School Performance Profile

Mansfield Junior Senior High School achieved 66.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 76.22% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 75.58% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 61.9% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[73][74] 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%.[75]

2013 School Performance Profile

Mansfield Junior Senior High School achieved 76.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature -74% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 74.7%% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 66.9% showed on grade level science understanding. In 8th grade writing - 66% demonstrated on grade level skills.[76] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.

AYP status[edit]

In 2012, Mansfield Junior Senior High School declined further to School Improvement Level I Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[77] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the administration to write a school improvement plan to address the academic shortfalls.

  • 2011 - declined again to Warning status.
  • 2004 to 2010 achieved AYP status[78]
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status due to lagging academic achievement in reading and math.

Graduation rate[edit]

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.[86] 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 applicable course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[87]

11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 62% on grade level, (14% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[88]
  • 2011 - 65%, (23% below basic). State - 69.1% [89]
  • 2010 - 76% (10% below basic). State - 67%
  • 2009 - 74%, State - 65% [90]
  • 2008 - 59%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 61%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 53% on grade level (26% below basic). State - 59%.[91]
  • 2011 - 48%, (26% below basic). State - 60.3%.[92]
  • 2010 - 67% (18% below basic). State - 59% [93]
  • 2009 - 56%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 51%, State - 55% [94]
  • 2007 - 46%, State - 53% [95]
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 42% on grade level (10% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[96]
  • 2011 - 30%, (13% below basic). State - 40% [97]
  • 2010 - 42% (11% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 35%, State - 40% [98]
  • 2008 - 19%, State - 39%
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 52% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 61% (14% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 56% (27% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 60%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 40%, State - 52%

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, 36 Mansfield Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 512. The Math average score was 491. The Writing average score was 477.[99][100] 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.[101] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 47 Mansfield Area Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 486.6. The Math average score was 483.8. The Writing average score was 450. 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.[102]

In 2012, 35 Mansfield Area Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 480. The Math average score was 465. The Writing average score was 456. 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, 46 Mansfield Junior Senior High students took the SAT exams. The School's Verbal Average Score was 488. The Math average score was 497. The Writing average score was 427.[103] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[104] 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.[105]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Mansfield Junior Senior High School offered 3 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. At Mansfield Junior Senior High School less than 10 of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[106] In 2015, Mansfield Junior Senior High School offered 4 Advanced Placement courses. 16 students achieved a score of 3 and above in US GOPO and Macroeconomics.[107]

North Penn-Liberty High School[edit]

North Penn-Liberty High School is located at 8675 Route 414, Liberty. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 299 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 44% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 20% of pupils received special education services, while 1% of pupils were identified as gifted.[108] North Penn-Liberty High School employed 22 teachers.[109] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[110]

In 2013, North Penn-Liberty High School enrollment had declined to 231 pupils, in grades 7th through 12th, with 43% from low income homes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the School reported an enrollment of 266 pupils, in grades 7th through 12th, with 106 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 22 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[111] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1 teacher was rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[112]

2015 School Performance Profile

North Penn - Liberty High School achieved 46.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.The PDE reported that 35% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 41.6% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 27.7% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[113]

2014 School Performance Profile

North Penn-Liberty High School achieved 72.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 69.5% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 72% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 70.7% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[114][115]

2013 School Performance Profile

Liberty Junior Senior High School achieved 66.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 66% were on grade level. In Math/Algebra 1, 57.76% showed on grade level skills. In Science/Biology, just 53.95% showed on grade level science understanding. In 8th grade writing 78% of pupils showed on grade level skills.[116]

Graduation rate:

AYP status[edit]

In 2012, Liberty Junior Senior High School remained in Warning AYP status due to a low graduation rate. In 2011, Liberty Junior Senior High School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.[123] In 2010, Liberty Junior Senior High School achieved AYP status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. From 2003 to 2009, Liberty Junior Senior HIgh School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress each school year.

PSSA Results:
11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 61% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[124]
  • 2011 - 69% (3% below basic). State - 69.1%[125]
  • 2010 - 68% (21% below basic). State - 67% (38 pupils) [126]
  • 2009 - 68%, State - 65%[127]
  • 2008 - 62%, State - 65% [128]
  • 2007 - 65%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 58% on grade level (28% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[129]
  • 2011 - 58% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 64% (19% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 69%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 51%, State - 55%
  • 2007 - 59%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 34% on grade level (19% below basic). State - 42% [130]
  • 2011 - 35% (9% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 52% (16% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 52%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 31%, State - 39%
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 50% on grade level (21% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 68% (20% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 58% (21% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 65%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 64%, State - 52%

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, 20 Liberty Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The School's Verbal Average Score was 456. The Math average score was 462. The Writing average score was 471.[133][134]

In 2013, Liberty Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 471. The Math average score was 472. The Writing average score was 464. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing.[135]

In 2012, 20 Liberty Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 489. The Math average score was 480. The Writing average score was 426.

In 2011, Liberty Junior Senior High students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 500. The Math average score was 494. The Writing average score was 459.[136] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[137]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Liberty Junior Senior High School offered 3 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. At Liberty Junior Senior High School less than 10 of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[138] In 2015, Liberty Junior Senior High School provided 3 Advanced Placement courses, however none of the pupils who took the course achieved a 3 or better on the exam given at the end of the course, by the College Board.[139]

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 14% of Southern Tioga School District 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.[140] 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.[141] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[142] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[143] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $5,415 for the program.

Dropout Early Warning System[edit]

In 2013, Southern Tioga School District did not implement a no cost dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the either of its junior senior high schools.[144] 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.[145]

Blossburg Elementary School[edit]

Blossburg Elementary School is located at 133 Hannibal Street, Blossburg. In 2015, the Blossburg Elementary School's enrollment was 225 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th with 56% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 21.7% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.86% are identified as gifted.[146] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. Blossburg Elementary School continued to provide full day kindergarten.[147] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, Blossburg Elementary School reported 306 pupils enrolled, with 53% of pupils in low income homes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 325 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 184 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a Title I school. The school employed 25 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[148] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind Act.[149] The school provided full day kindergarten to all its pupils.[150] While proponents of full day kindergarten claim it will reduce special education numbers and it will raise primary student academic achievement especially in reading and math, those outcomes have not been realized in Southern Tioga School District. Reading achievement in particular has significantly declined.

In February 2013, the Administration held a public hearing to announce its intent to close Blossburg Elementary School. The Superintendent then proposed a different school consolidation plan which kept Blossburg open.[151]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 41% of 5th grade students at Blossburg Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 25% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 46% were on grade level in reading, while 32% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 94% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 56% were on grade level in reading and 56% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 37% were on grade level in reading and 17% were on grade level in mathematics.[152] 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.[153]

2014 School Performance Profile

Blossburg Elementary School achieved a score of 70.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 50% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, just 62% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, only 62.7% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 95% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 22% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills. Among 6th graders, 37% were on grade level in reading and 17% were on grade level in mathematics.[154]

2013 School Performance Profile

Blossburg Elementary School achieved a score of 68.3 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 54% 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, 67% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 34% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[155]

AYP History

In 2012, Blossburg Elementary School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging reading achievement.[156] In 2010 and 2011, Blossburg Elementary School achieved AYP status.[157]

In 2012, only 65% of Blossburg Elementary School students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. Just 64% of 3rd graders were reading on grade level. In math, 83% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 40% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 100% of the pupils were on grade level, with 71% advanced.[158]

In 2011, 72% of Blossburg Elementary School students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. Just 63% of 3rd graders were reading on grade level. In math, 83% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 51% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 98% of the pupils were on grade level, with 69% advanced.[159]

In 2009, just 63% of Blossburg Elementary School students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 82% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 46% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 98% of the pupils were on grade level, with 60% advanced.[160]

Liberty Elementary School[edit]

Liberty Elementary School is located at 8622 Route 414, Liberty. In 2015, Liberty Elementary School's enrollment was 238 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 44% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 8% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1.6% are identified as gifted.[161] 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.[162] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, Liberty Elementary School enrollment was 232 students (K-6), with 41% coming from low income homes.[163] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 236 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 107 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 18 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[164] 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.[165] The school provided full day kindergarten to all its pupils.[166]

In October 2013, the School Board voted to close Liberty Elementary School effective with the 2014-15 school year.[167] The Southern Tioga School Board voted to rescind a motion that was passed in October to close Liberty Elementary School at its December meeting.[168]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 43% of 5th grade students at Liberty Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 42% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 59% were on grade level in reading, while 14% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 92% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 47% were on grade level in reading and 42% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 59% were on grade level in reading and 39% were on grade level in mathematics.[169]

2014 School Performance Profile

Liberty Elementary School achieved a score of 72.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 72.5% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, 86% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 63.7% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 41.9% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[170]

2013 School Performance Profile

Liberty Elementary School achieved a score of 76.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 68.5% 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, 78.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 61% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[171]

AYP History

In 2011 and 2012, Liberty Elementary School achieved AYP status.[172] From 2003 to 2010, Liberty Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress each school year.

PSSA results history

In 2012, 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 84% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 51% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 94% of the pupils were on grade level.[173]

In 2011, only 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 85% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 52% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 90% of the pupils were on grade level.[174]

In 2009, 82% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 88% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 40% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 97% of the pupils were on grade level, with 77% achieving advanced.[175]

Warren L. Miller Elementary School[edit]

Warren Miller Elementary School is located on Dorsett Drive, Mansfield. In 2015, Warren Miller Elementary School's enrollment was 493 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 42% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 19.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[176] 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.[177] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, Warren Miller Elementary School's enrollment increased to 497 pupils, with 42% of pupils coming from low income homes.[178] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 432 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 174 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. This is a Title I school. The school employed 34 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[179] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[180] The school provided full day kindergarten to all its pupils.[181]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 47% of 5th grade students at Warren Miller Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 45% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 53% were on grade level in reading, while 27% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 90% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 61% were on grade level in reading and 40% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 66% were on grade level in reading and 55% were on grade level in mathematics.[182]

2014 School Performance Profile

Warren Miller Elementary School achieved a score of 85.7 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, 81.7% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 79% were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 80% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[183]

2013 School Performance Profile

Warren Miller Elementary School achieved a score of 82.7 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 72% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In 3rd grade, 75% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 77.8 were on grade level (3rd-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 56% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[184]

AYP History

In 2012, Warren Miller Elementary School remained in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.[185] In 2010 and 2011, Warren Miller Elementary School was in Warning AYP status.[186] The School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress each school year 2003 to 2009.

In 2012, just 69% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 77% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 45% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils were on grade level, with 60% advanced.[187]

In 2011, only 73% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 77% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 43% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 96% of the pupils were on grade level, with 65% advanced.[188]

In 2009, only 69% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 6th. In math, 83% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 43% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 97% of the pupils were on grade level, with 55% achieving advanced.[189]

Preschool[edit]

Southern Tioga School District has provided a taxpayer-funded preschool since 2008.[190] The District received $669,550 state dollars in 2010 to provide preschool to 91 children.[191][192] In 2013-14, Southern Tioga School District received a 667,900 PreK Counts grant from the state for preschool.[193] In 2015, Southern Tioga School District did not offer taxpayer funded preschool.[194]

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, the District administration reported that 363 pupils or 20% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 51.8% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[195]

In December 2012, Southern Tioga School District reported that 20% of the students received special education services, with 55% of identified students having a specific learning disability.[196] Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-11 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[197] The largest group of students are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent).

In December 2010, Southern Tioga School District reported that 17% of the students received special education services, with 59% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2008, the District reported that 15.3% of the students received special education services.[198]

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.[199] Southern Tioga School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2003. The District has seen a slight 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 Supervisor of Special Education.[200]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[201] 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.[202] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[203] 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.[204] 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.[205] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[206]

Southern Tioga School District received a $1,240,082 supplement for special education services in 2010.[207] For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school years, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[208][209] For the 2014-2015 school year, Southern Tioga School District received an increase to $1,264,067 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[210]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 52 or 2.37% of its students were gifted in 2009. The highest percentage of gifted students reported among all 500 school districts and 100 public charter schools in Pennsylvania was North Allegheny School District with 15.5% of its students identified as gifted.[211] 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.[212][213]

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.[214]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Southern Tioga School District was $52,666 a year.[215] The District employed 263 teachers and administrators with a top salary of $106,000.[216][217] Pennsylvania teacher salaries (2013–14) are searchable in a statewide database provided by TribLive News.[218] Southern Tioga 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.)[219] After 40 years of service, Pennsylvania public school teachers and administrators 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.[220] In 2014-15, Pennsylvania public school district mandated teacher pension contribution rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total salaries.[221] In 2014-15, the state mandated District contribution to the teacher pension fund rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total District salaries.[222]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Southern Tioga School District rose to $52,879.89 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $18,392 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $71,272.[223]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Southern Tioga School District was $52,177.93 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $17,203.19 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $69,381.12.[224] 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.[225]

In 2009, Southern Tioga School District reported employing 259 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $50,990 and a top salary of $121,000.[226] The teacher’s work day is 7 hours 30 minutes with 30 minute duty-free lunch; with 186 days in the contract year (180 student days). Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, dental insurance, prescription insurance, professional development reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days (5 days annually for family health care), and other benefits. The District pays in full for health insurance for all employees who retired before July 1, 2009.[227]

In 2007, the Southern Tioga School District employed 162 teachers and the average teacher salary in the district was $46,829 for 180 days worked.[228] In 2009, the professional staff's salaries ranged between $38,000 and $117,412 for the superintendent. The faculty also receives an extensive benefits package which includes: health insurance, life insurance, free college courses, fees to professional organizations and a defined benefit pension.[229]

Per pupil spending The district administrative costs per pupil were $761.19 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[230] The Board transferred Mr. Joseph M. Kalata from Superintendent to Administrator on Special Assignment effective March 1, 2011.[231]

Southern Tioga School District reported spending $12,259 per pupil in 2008 which ranked 246th in the state.[232] In 2010, the per pupil spending at Southern Tioga had increased to $16,698.74 ranking 52nd in the state.[233] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[234] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[235] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[236]

Audit In 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. It found that the district did not have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mansfield Borough Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and failed to update its MOU with the Blossburg Borough Police Department [237]

Facility Rentals In 2010, the school board approved a three-year user agreement with the Borough of Blossburg to use recreational facilities at Island Park from July 1 to June 30, 2013, for $13,000 annually. It also approved entering into a user agreement with Laurel Youth Services to use classroom space and the gymnasium for the residential and diagnostic classes between August and May 2011 for $1,102.40 per month. The board entered into a user agreement with Laurel Youth Services to use the gymnasium for wrestling practice between Nov. 1 and Feb. 28, 2011, in the amount of $256.80 per month or $64.20 per week.[238]

Reserves In 2008, Southern Tioga School District reported a balance of zero in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $1,113,386.[239] In 2010, Southern Tioga School District Administration reported an increase to $1,616,337.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. In 2012, Southern Tioga School District reported a reserve balance of $3,980,178. Pennsylvania 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.[240]

Tuition Students who live in the Southern Tioga 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 Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the Southern Tioga School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,037.45, High School - $9,734.60.[241]

Southern Tioga School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.2%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax of 0.5 percent, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants and Interest earnings on accounts provide nontax income to the District. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[242] 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.[243]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Southern Tioga School District receives 50.1% of its annual revenue from the state.[244] This exceeds some education advocates goal of the state providing 50% of district funding.[245]

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $4,158,659 to Southern Tioga School District, in January 2016.[246] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[247] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[248][249][250]

For the 2014-15 school year, Southern Tioga School District received $8,399,869 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $162,073 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.[251] The Education budget also included 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 paid $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.[252]

For the 2013-14 school year, Southern Tioga School District received a 1.5% increase or $8,399,417 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $124,759 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Southern Tioga School District received $156,515 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Tioga County, Wellsboro Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 1.6%. 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.[253] 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.[254] 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.[255]

For the 2012-13 school year, Southern Tioga School District received $8,431,173 in BEF state funding.[256] 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. Southern Tioga School District received $156,515 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[257] 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 the 2011-12 school year, Southern Tioga School District received an $8,274,658 allocation of state Basic Education Funding.[258][259] Additionally, Southern Tioga School District received $156,515 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount was a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[260] 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.[261] In 2010, the district reported that 882 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[262]

In the 2010-11 school year, Southern Tioga School District received a 3.23% increase in state funding for a total of $8,899,908.[263] This was the highest funding increase given among Tioga County school districts. In Pennsylvania, the highest increase went to Kennett Consolidated School District of Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in basic education funding from the state. One hundred fifty school districts received a base 2% increase. 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 districts at a far greater rate than others.[264]

For the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 4.19% increase in Basic Education Funding, to the Southern Tioga School District for a total of $8,621,137. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $8,274,657.88. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 924 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[265] The district also received supplemental funding for: Title I (federal funding for low-income students), for district size, a poverty supplement from the Commonwealth and more. 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.[266] The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[267] The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 924 Southern Tioga School District students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-08 school year.[268]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[269][270]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through several funding allocations, including: Reimbursement of Charter School Expenditures; Special Education Funding; Secondary Career & Technical Education Subsidy; PA Accountability Grants; and low achieving schools were eligible for Educational Assistance Program Funding. Plus all Pennsylvania school districts receive federal dollars for various programs including: Special Education funding and Title I funding for children from low income families. In 2010, Pennsylvania spent over $24 billion for public education - local, state and federal dollars combined.[271] By 2015, Pennsylvania is spending over $27 billion on public education (local, state and federal resources combined).[272]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-05, 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, Southern Tioga School District applied for and received $424,820 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District used the funding to provide Increased Instructional Time and to provide full-day kindergarten for the 7th year.[273][274]

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.[275]

Southern Tioga School District received $275,987 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, PreK Counts funding, transportation reimbursement, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive. For 2015-16, the District received $312,873 in Ready to learn grant.

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 funded mandatory teacher training to optimize the instructional use of the computers. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Southern Tioga School District was denied funding by the PDE, in 2006-07. In 2007-08, Southern Tioga School District received $378,106 and in 2008-09 $136,238 for a total of $514,344.[276]

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11 the Southern Tioga School District received $85,645.[277]

Literacy grant[edit]

Southern Tioga School District did not participate in a Pennsylvania competitive literacy grant. The funding was to be used to improve reading skills birth through 12th grade. The district was required to develop a lengthy literacy plan, which included outreach into the community. The funds come from a Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, also referred to as the Keystones to Opportunity grant It is a five-year, competitive federal grant program designed to assist local education agencies in developing and implementing local comprehensive literacy plans. Of the 329 pre-applications by school districts reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, School District was one of only 148 entities that were invited to submit a full application. In County 5 school districts and one charter school were awarded funding for one year.[278] The funds must be used for teacher training, student screening and assessment, targeted interventions for students reading below grade level and research-based methods of improving classroom instruction and practice. Districts must hire literacy coaches. The coaches work with classroom teachers to enhance their literacy teaching skills. Pennsylvania was among six other states, out of the 35 that applied, to be awarded funding. Pennsylvania received $38 million through the federal program. The Department of Education reserved 5% of the grant for administration costs at the state level.

Project 720[edit]

Project 720 was a high school reform program implemented for three years under the Rendell administration. The intent was to increase academic rigor and improve the instruction of teachers in the Commonwealth’s high schools. Teachers were expected to use data driven instructional practices and to meet the needs of diverse learners.[279] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades.[280] High schools applied for funding and were required to agree to report to the PDE their plans, their actions and the outcomes. In 2007-08 budget year, the Commonwealth provided $11 million in funding. Southern Tioga School District was one of 161 PA public school districts to apply, receiving $300,000 funding over three years.[281][282] For 2010-11, Project 720 funding was decreased to $1.7 million by Governor Rendell. The grant program was discontinued effective with the 2011-12 state budget.[283]

Other grants[edit]

Southern Tioga School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants, PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell), 2012 and 2013 nor Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants,[284] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

In 2008, Southern Tioga School District participated in the state's cost containment review program for school districts called Common Cents.[285] 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.[286][287] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes. It offered 10 proposals to save tax dollars in the district.

Federal Grants[edit]

Southern Tioga School District received $1,689,656 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[288] This funding was in addition to all regular annual subsidies. The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[289] 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]

Southern Tioga School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the district would have received nearly one million dollars, in additional federal dollars, for improving student academic achievement.[290] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[291] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate. 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.[292]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is to provide each child in public schools with “Highly Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[293] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[294] 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, Southern Tioga School District received $125,599 in federal Title II funding.[295] In 2014-15, Southern Tioga School District applied for and received $118,047.[296]

Real estate taxes[edit]

In June 2015, the Southern Tioga School Board set property taxes at 16.0104 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County residents 15.5860 mills.[297] 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. 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.[298] When the school district includes municipalities in two counties as is the case with Southern Tioga School District (Tioga County and Lycoming County), each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[299] 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.[300]

  • 2014-15 - 15.8108 mills for residents in Tioga County. Residents in Lycoming County - 14.9421 mills.[301]
  • 2013-14 - 15.1882 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 14.2878 mills.[302]
  • 2012-13 - 15.1411 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 14.5882 mills.[303]
  • 2011-12 - 14.2446 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 14.0698 mills[304][305]
  • 2010-11 - 14.0090 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County 13.7940 mills.[306]
  • 2009-10 - 13.6293 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 13.0295 mills.[307]
  • 2008-09 - 13.6295 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 13.1309 mills.[308]
  • 2007-08 - 13.2950 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 12.2010 mills
  • 2006-07 - 12.7100 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 11.6400 mills [309]
  • 2005-06 - 12.7100 mills in Tioga County. Lycoming County - 12.1400 mills [310]

The average yearly property tax paid by Tioga County residents amounts to about 3.44% of their yearly income. Tioga County is ranked 401st of the 3143 counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income. 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%).[311]

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.[312]

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.[313] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[314] 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.[315][316]

A specific timeline for Act I Index decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[317]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Southern Tioga School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[318]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Southern Tioga School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for special education cost and for its rapidly rising teacher pension costs. They were again denied an increase for special education costs. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[324]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Southern Tioga School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: rapidly escalating teacher pension costs and special education costs. They were denied an increase for special education costs. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[325] 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.[326]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Southern Tioga School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[327]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Southern Tioga School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index to cover the radily escalating cost of teachers' pensions. 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. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[328]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Southern Tioga School Board applied for 5 exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: School Construction Grandfathered Debt, Special Education costs, Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue, Maintenance of Selected Revenue and rapidly increasing teacher pension obligations. Each year, the Southern Tioga 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.[329]

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.[330]

In 2010, the Southern Tioga School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the index.[331] 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.[332]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2013, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Southern Tioga School District was $184 per approved permanent primary residence. In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Southern Tioga School District was $188 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,487 property owners applied for the tax relief. This was the highest property tax relief in Tioga County. In Pennsylvania, the highest property tax relief went to residents in Chester Upland School District in Delaware County which received $632 per approved homestead. 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption.[333] In 2009 the district's allocation was $187 per homestead.[334]

Enrollment[edit]

Enrollment in Southern Tioga School District was projected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to decline by another 200 pupils by 2015.[335] 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.[336] As the enrollment declines, per pupil administrative costs of the schools rise significantly.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[337] This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[338] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[339] 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.[340] Pennsylvania had 2,361 public school districts in 1959. The state compelled mergers reducing the number to 505 by 1980. Mergers slowed through the 1980s after a 1981 court order desegregated and combined the Edgewood, General Braddock, Swissvale, Churchill and Turtle Creek districts into the Woodland Hills district.[341]

Wellness policy[edit]

Southern Tioga School Board established a district wellness policy in 2009.[342] 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.[343]

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

The Southern Tioga School District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[345] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[346]

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.[347] 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.[348]

Southern Tioga 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.[349] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

Extracurriculars[edit]

Southern Tioga School District offers an extensive program of after school clubs, arts programs and a three times duplicated interscholastic athletics program. Eligibility to participate is set by school board policy. The District is noncompliant with state law, due to failing to post its Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form on its website.[350] 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.[351]

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.[352]

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.[353][354][355]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[356]

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.[357][358]

The District funds athletics at each of its high schools.

Liberty High School:

Liberty Junior High School Sports
  • According to PIAA directory July 2012 [359]
Mansfield Senior High School
Mansfield Junior High School Sports

Closed schools[edit]

North Penn Junior Senior High School[edit]

North Penn Junior Senior High School is located at 300 Morris Street, Blossburg. In 2013, North Penn Junior Senior High School enrollment declined to 257 students in grades 7th through 12th, with 45% coming from low income homes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 305 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 164 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 28 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 10:1.[360] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[361] Students may take several Advanced Placement courses and ACE classes through Corning Community College. In October 2013, the School Board voted to close North Penn Junior Senior High School effective with the 2014-15 school year.[362]

2013 School Performance Profile

North Penn Junior Senior High School achieved 63.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 73% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 67.9% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 47% showed on grade level science understanding. In 8th grade writing, 68% showed on grade level skills.[363]

AYP status

In 2012, North Penn Junior Senior High School declined to School Improvement I status due to missing multiple academic metrics.[364] North Penn Junior Senior High School's administration was required to develop a school improvement plan and submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for approval. In 2011 and 2010, North Penn Junior Senior High School was in Warning status due to low student achievement particularly in reading, mathematics and science.[365]

Graduation rate:
PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 40% on grade level, (31% below basic). State - 67% [369]
  • 2011 - 63% on grade level, (19% below basic). State - 69.1%[370]
  • 2010 - 38% (39% below basic). State - 67% (31 pupils enrolled) [371]
  • 2009 - 45%, State - 65% [372]
  • 2008 - 50%, State - 65% [373]
  • 2007 - 51%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 35% on grade level (39% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[374]
  • 2011 - 33% (50% below basic). State - 60.3% [375]
  • 2010 - 51% (31% below basic). State - 59% [376]
  • 2009 - 50%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 57%, State - 55%
  • 2007 - 46%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 20% on grade level (% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[377]
  • 2011 - 19% (16% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 16.7% (20% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 19%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 28%, State - 39%
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 46% on grade level (34% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 39% (31% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 54% (35% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 47%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 40%, State - 52%
SAT scores

In 2013, North Penn Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The School's Verbal Average Score was 468. The Math average score was 435. The Writing average score was 443. 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.[379]

In 2012, North Penn Junior Senior High School students took the SAT exams. The School's Verbal Average Score was 469. The Math average score was 460. The Writing average score was 437. 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, North Penn Junior Senior High students took the SAT exams. The School's Verbal Average Score was 440. The Math average score was 452. The Writing average score was 412.[380] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[381]

AP Courses

In 2013, North Penn Junior Senior High School offered 3 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. At North Penn High School, fewer than 10 of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[382]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PDE, ED Names and Addresses 2015, 2015
  2. ^ NCES, Southern Tioga School District 2013, 2015
  3. ^ NCES, Southern Tioga School District 2011, 2013
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Southern Tioga School District Fast Facts 2015". 
  5. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Southern Tioga School District enrollment, 2015
  6. ^ NCES, Common Core of Data - Southern Tioga School District enrollment, 2012
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA, 2010
  8. ^ Southern Tioga School District Administration (February 4, 2013). "Southern Tioga School District Section 780 Hearing" (PDF). 
  9. ^ PDE, Enrollment by LEA and School, 2014
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2011). "Enrollment and Projections by school district". 
  11. ^ Clarke, Cheryl., ‘Balanced’ 2012 Southern Tioga school budget includes 6 percent tax increase, Williamsport Sun Gazette |date=June 5, 2012
  12. ^ BOARD OF EDUCATION Secretary (June 11, 2007). "MINUTES: Southern Tioga School District School Board meeting". 
  13. ^ BOARD OF EDUCATION Secretary (June 14, 2004). "MINUTES: Southern Tioga School District School Board meeting". 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Education Facts Student Poverty Concentration by LEA, 2012
  15. ^ Collin Deppen (January 2015). "How many children are homeless in your school district?" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Education. 
  16. ^ American Fact Finder, US Census Bureau, 2009
  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. ^ http://www.southerntioga.org/
  21. ^ Southern Tioga School District (2015). "myCyberCampus Southern Tioga School District". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Code Governance 2010
  23. ^ US Department of Education (2015). "Every Student Succeeds Act". 
  24. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly (2012). "Act of Jul. 12, 2012, P.L. 1142, No. 141 Section 921-A". 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pennsylvania School Code, 2013
  26. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly (2012). "Act of Jul. 12, 2012, P.L. 1142, No. 141". 
  27. ^ The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives. "The Pennsylvania Project". Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  28. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office (October 6, 2015). "561 Academically Challenged Schools Overlooked by the Department of Education" (PDF). 
  29. ^ Joe Sylvester (October 7, 2015). "8 schools in Valley jilted, audit reveals". The Daily Item. 
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office (October 7, 2015). "Special Performance Audit Report - Pennsylvania Department of Education" (PDF). 
  31. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 10, 2015). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2015". 
  32. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "Western Pennsylvania School Guide 2014". 
  33. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 5, 2013). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide ranking 2013". 
  34. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 30, 2010). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings". 
  35. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (May 23, 2008). "Pennsylvania Public School Rankings". 
  36. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Overachivers Ranking Information 2013, April 4, 2013
  37. ^ "Overachiever statewide ranking". Pittsburgh Business Times. May 6, 2010. 
  38. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Overachivers Ranking Information, April 6, 2012
  39. ^ "2009 PSSA RESULTS Southern Tioga School District". The Morning Call. 2009. 
  40. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Southern Tioga School District AYP Overview 2012". 
  41. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Southern Tioga School District AYP Overview, September 29, 2011
  42. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Public School District AYP History, 2011
  43. ^ PDE, Southern Tioga School District AYP Overview 2010, October 20, 2010
  44. ^ PDE, Southern Tioga School District AYP Overview 2008, August 15, 2008
  45. ^ PDE, Southern Tioga School District AYP Overview 2007, 2007
  46. ^ PDE, Southern Tioga School District AYP Overview 2005, 2005
  47. ^ US Department of Education (2003). "NCLB Parental Notices". 
  48. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania District AYP History 2003-2010, 2011
  49. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Southern Tioga School District AYP Data Table". 
  50. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Southern Tioga School District AYP Data Table 2011, September 29, 2011
  51. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  52. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Southern Tioga School District Academic Achievement Report Card Data table, October 20, 2010
  53. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 27, 2010). "PA School District Statistical Snapshot Database 2008-09". 
  54. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 25, 2009). "County School Districts Graduation Rates 2008". 
  55. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (2008). "High School Graduation rate 2007" (PDF). 
  56. ^ "Southern Tioga School District graduation Requirements". 2014. 
  57. ^ Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
  58. ^ Southern Tioga School Administration (2008). "Southern Tioga School District Graduation Project Guidelines" (PDF). 
  59. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Keystone Exam Overview" (PDF). 
  60. ^ Megan Harris (September 12, 2013). "Pennsylvania changing high school graduation requirements". Tribune Live. 
  61. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". 
  62. ^ Pennsylvania State Board of Education (2010). "Rules and Regulation Title 22 PA School Code CH. 4". 
  63. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, State Board of Education Finalizes Adoption of Pennsylvania Common Core State Academic Standards and High School Graduation Requirements, March 14, 2013
  64. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Keystone Exams". 
  65. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School Fast Facts 2015". 
  66. ^ US News and World Report, Best High Schools, 2015
  67. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2015). "HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER GUIDELINES". 
  68. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Care Data - Mansfield Junior Senior High School, 2010
  69. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Mansfield Junior Senior High School, September 29, 2011
  70. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "High School School Performance Profile 2015". 
  71. ^ Jan Murphy (November 4, 2015). "Report card for state's high schools show overall decline". Pennlive.com. 
  72. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "2015 Keystone Exam School Level Data". 
  73. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 6, 2014). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Performance Data 2014". 
  74. ^ Evamarie Socha (November 6, 2014). "Half of Valley districts see state test scores decline". The Daily Item. 
  75. ^ By Eleanor Chute (November 21, 2014). "Pennsylvania student scores declined with reduced funding, test results show". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  76. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Performance Data 2013". 
  77. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2012). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School AYP Overview 2012". 
  78. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mansfield Junior Senior High School AYP Overview, 2010
  79. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 14, 2015). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School Performance Profile 2015". 
  80. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2014). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School Performance Profile 2014". 
  81. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 9, 2013). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School Performance Profile 2013". 
  82. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Mansfield Junior Senior High School AYP Data Table 2012". 
  83. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mansfield Junior Senior High School AYP Data Table 2011, September 29, 2011
  84. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Southern Tioga School District - Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009 data table". 
  85. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Southern Tioga School District - Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009, 2009
  86. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "State Academic Standards". 
  87. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "State Assessment System". 
  88. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2012). "2011-2012 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  89. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  90. ^ The Times-Tribune (September 14, 2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 PSSA results". 
  91. ^ Pittsburgh Post Gazette (October 15, 2012). "How is your school doing?". 
  92. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011, September 29, 2011
  93. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010, October 20, 2010
  94. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mansfield Junior Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2008, August 2008
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Coordinates: 41°40′53″N 77°03′53″W / 41.68139°N 77.06465°W / 41.68139; -77.06465