Tunkhannock Area School District

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Tunkhannock Area School District Wyoming
Map of Wyoming County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
41 Philadelphia Avenue
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania 18657-1602
United States
Information
Type Public
Administrator

Dr Ann S Way, Asst Superintendent $91,730 (2012), $100,172 (2014)
Mr Patrick O'Shea, Business Manager $92,700 (2012), $101,296 (2014)
Kormis, Joseph, Director of Management Info Sys $88,547 (2012), $88,547 (2014)
Carey, Donna, Supervisor
Gregory M. Ellsworth, HS, $87,418 (2014)
James Timmons, MS $84,000 (2014)
Mary L Hvezda, salary $83,429
Joseph P Moffitt, salary $78,507 (2014)

SUSAN B BUGNO, salary $76,385
Superintendent Michael Healey salary $116,319 (2012), $125,810 (2014)[1]
Staff 202 nonteaching staff[2]
Faculty 236.50 teachers
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils

2,595 pupils 2014-15[3]
2,682 students (2012-13)[4]
2,818 students (2010-11)

2,839 students (2009-10) [5]
 • Kindergarten 184 (2013), 207 (2010)
 • Grade 1 215 (2013), 187
 • Grade 2 189 (2013), 214
 • Grade 3 213 (2013), 186
 • Grade 4 180 (2013), 192
 • Grade 5 189 (2013), 200
 • Grade 6 187 (2013), 210
 • Grade 7 211 (2013), 213
 • Grade 8 199 (2013), 213
 • Grade 9 212 (2013), 228
 • Grade 10 221 (2013), 201
 • Grade 11 199 (2013), 208
 • Grade 12 199 (2013), 223 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to decline to 2227 by 2019[6]
School color(s) Orange and Black
Mascot Tiger
Budget

$46.6 million (2015-16)[7]
$45.86 million (2014-15)[8]
$45 million (2013-14)[9]
$42,879,665 (2012-13)[10]
$42,222,426 (2011-12)[11]
$36,933,000 (2010-11)
$36,086,000 (2009-10)
$34,873,000 (2008-09)

$32,471,000 (2007-08)[12]
Per pupil Spending $12,709 (2008)
Per pupil Spending $14,489.07 (2010)
Website

Tunkhannock Area School District is a midsized rural/suburban public school district serving most of Wyoming County in northeast Pennsylvania in the United States. Tunkhannock Area School District encompasses approximately 397 square miles (1,030 km2). According to 2010 federal census data, Tunkhannock Area School District served a resident population of 28,276. By 2010, the district's population declined sharply to 19,032 people.[13] In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $18,112, while the median family income was $44,626.[14] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [15] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[16]

According to district officials, in school year 2009-10 the Tunkhannock Area School District provided basic educational services to 2,892 pupils through the employment of 229 teachers, 164 full-time and part-time support personnel; as well as 24 administrators. Tunkhannock Area School District received more than $18.3 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.[17] In school year 2007-08, the Tunkhannock Area School District provided basic educational services to 3,026 pupils. It employed: 258 teachers, 153 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 6 administrators. Tunkhannock Area School District received more than $17.6 million in state funding in school year 2007-08.

Tunkhannock Area School District operates six schools - Roslund Elementary in Tunkhannock, Mehoopany Elementary in Mehoopany Township, Mill City Elementary in Dalton, PA, Evans Falls Elementary in Monroe Township, the Tunkhannock Area Middle School in Tunkhannock, and the Tunkhannock Area High School in Tunkhannock. The school mascot is the Tiger.

Encatadia[edit]

The 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.[18] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "C-" 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.[19]

Teacher Evaluation project[edit]

In 2011, Tunkhannock Area School District agreed to participate in a pilot program to develop a new way to evaluate teachers that, in part, takes into account student achievement.[20] The pilot program had 104 K-12 entities, including: nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units. Beginning in January 2012, participating school districts will use the new evaluation method and provide feedback to the Department of Education. This new evaluation will not be used to determine an educator’s official 2011-12 assessment. Under the new evaluation system, 50% of the evaluation of a teacher will be based on an observation divided into four categories: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. The other half will be based on student achievement (15 percent will be building-level data, 15 percent will be teacher-specific data, and 20 percent will be elective). The new evaluation system includes both announced and unannounced observations. There are meetings between the teacher and evaluator before and after the direct observation of a lesson.[21]

Academic achievement[edit]

In April 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released a report identifying Tunkhannock Area High School being among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in the state.[22] Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012.[23] The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district.[24] Tunkhannock Area High School is the sole Wyoming County public school on the low achievement list in 2015-16.

Tunkhannock Area School District was ranked 298th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2015.[25] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[26] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

Overachiever's ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Tunkhannock Area School District ranked 124th. In 2011, the district was 175th. [32] 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."[33]

District AYP HIstory[edit]

In 2012, Tunkhannock Area school district declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to missing multiple academic metrics.[34] In 2010 and 2011, Tunkhannock Area School District achieved AYP status even though the high school is in Corrective Action I due to chronic low student achievement.[35] 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. Tunkhannock Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2005 to 2010, while in 2003 and 2004 the district was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.[36]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Tunkhannock Area School District's graduation rate was 89.18%.[37]

  • 2013 - 92.67%[38]
  • 2012 - 86.9%
  • 2011 - 95%.[39]
  • 2010 - 81%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[40]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school[edit]

Tunkhannock High School is located at 120 West Tioga Street, Tunkhannock. By 2014, enrollment declined to 836 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 34.78% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 17% of pupils received special education services, while 4% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 57 teachers.[45] Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 1,023 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 279 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. Tunkhannock High School employed 81 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[46] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 3 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind Act.[47]

2014 School Performance Profile

Tunkhannock Area High School achieved 64.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 67% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 46% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 38.7% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[48][49] 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%.[50]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[51] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[52][53]

2013 School Performance Profile

Tunkhannock Area High School achieved 69.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 76% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 58% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 34% showed on grade level science understanding.[54] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[55]

AYP history

In 2012, Tunkhannock High School declined further to Corrective Action Level II AYP status, due to chronic, low student achievement. The school missed all 6 academic metrics measured.[56] In 2011, Tunkhannock High School declined further to Corrective Action Level 1 AYP status due to continuing low student achievement in reading and mathematics.[57] In 2011, Tunkhannock High School declined to School Improvement II AYP status due to continuing lagging student achievement.[58] The administration was required to by the federal No Child Left Behind law to notify parents of the schools poor performance and to make them aware of their right to transfer their child to another school in the district that was achieving AYP status.[59] Additionally, the Tunkhannock High School 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 school district must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[60] The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[61]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 67% on grade level, (17% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[62]
  • 2011 - 72% (12% below basic). State - 69.1%[63]
  • 2010 - 69% (16% below basic). State - 66% [64]
  • 2009 - 61% (46% below basic). State - 65% [65]
  • 2008 - 64% (35% below basic). State - 65% [66]
  • 2007 - 69.8% (30% below basic). State - 65% [67]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 58% on grade level (24% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[68]
  • 2011 - 58% (18% below basic). State - 60.3%[69]
  • 2010 - 66% (35% below basic). State - 59% [70]
  • 2009 - 55.6% (44% below basic). State - 56%.[71]
  • 2008 - 63.6% (38% below basic). State - 56% [72]
  • 2007 - 70.6% (28% below basic). State - 53% [73]
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 41% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[74]
  • 2011 - 39% (11% below basic). State - 40%[75]
  • 2010 - 42% (12% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 41% (14% below basic). State - 40% [76]
  • 2008 - 36% (10% below basic). State - 39% [77]

Science in Motion Tunkhannock High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[78] Wilkes University provides the enrichment experiences to the school.

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 15% of Tunkhannock High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[79] 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.[80] 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.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Tunkhannock Area High School students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 496. The Math average score was 500. The Writing average score was 479.[81][82] 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.[83]

In 2013, 146 Tunkhannock Area School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 403. The Math average score was 494. The Writing average score was 471. 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.[84]

In 2012, 161 Tunkhannock Area School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 484. The Math average score was 476. The Writing average score was 465. 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, 171 Tunkhannock students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 491. The Writing average score was 466.[85] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[86] 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.[87]

Dual enrollment[edit]

Tunkhannock 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 and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[88] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[89] Under state rules, other students that reside in the district, who attend a private school, a charter school or are homeschooled are eligible to participate in this program.[90]

For the 2009-10 funding year, the Tunkhannock Area School District received a state grant of $82,852 for the program.[91] In 2010, Governor Edward Rendell eliminated the grants to students, from the Commonwealth, due to a state budget crisis.

Middle school[edit]

Tunkhannock Middle School is located at 200 Franklin Avenue, Tunkhannock. In 2014, enrollment was 786 pupils, in grades 5th through 8th, with 44% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 16% of pupils received special education services, while % of pupils were identified as gifted.[92] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[93]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 854 pupils in grades 5th through 8th, with 300 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 74 teachers, yielding a very low student–teacher ratio of 11.5:1.[94] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 19 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[95]

2014 School Performance Profile

Tunkhannock Area Middle School achieved 71.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 68% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 72% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, only 68% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, just 58% of the 5th and 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[96]

2013 School Performance Profile

Tunkhannock Area Middle School achieved 64.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 68.8% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 74% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 63% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 50% of the 5th and 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[97] 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.

AYP History

In 2012, Tunkhannock Middle School achieved AYP status through special allowances.

  • 2011 - declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.
  • 2010 - achieved AYP status[98]
  • 2009 - Making Progress in Corrective Action level I[99]
  • 2008 - remained in Corrective Action level I[100]
  • 2007 - declined to Corrective Action level I[101] Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes and to offer the parent the opportunity to transfer to a successful school within the district.
  • 2006 - School Improvement Level II
  • 2005 - Making Progress - School Improvement Level I
  • 2004 - School Improvement Level I. The Administration was required by the PDE to write a plan to raise student academic achievement. They were also mandated to provide after school tutoring assistance to pupils. The MIddle School was eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[102]
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status
PSSA Results:

The fifth grade is tested in reading, mathematics and writing each year. The sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[103] Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[104] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[105] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[106]

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 60% on grade level (20% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 60% (21% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 72% (12% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 - 57% (24% below basic). State - 55% [114]
  • 2008 - 61%, State - 52% [115]
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.

Evans Falls Elementary School[edit]

Evans Falls Elementary School is located at 2055 Sr 29 South, Tunkhannock. In 2014, the school's enrollment was 236 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 44% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[116] 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.[117] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 230 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 85 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 17 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[118] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[119]

2014 School Performance Profile

Evans Falls Elementary School achieved a score of 88.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 81% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 78% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 85% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, just 91% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[120]

2013 School Performance Profile

Evans Falls Elementary School achieved a score of 92 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 83% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 85% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 82% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 95% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[121]

AYP history

In 2010 and 2011, Evans Falls Elementary School achieved AYP status.[122] In 2011, 81% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In math, 94% of the students in 3rd and 4th grades were on grade level and 65% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 98% of the pupils were on grade level.[123]

Mehoopany Elementary School[edit]

Mehoopany Elementary School is located at 400 Scottsville Road, Mehoopany. In 2014, the school's enrollment was 211 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 54% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of the pupils receive special education services, while none of the students are identified as gifted.[124] 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.[125] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 174 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 87 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 17 teachers, yielding an exceptionally low student–teacher ratio of 9:1.[126] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[127]

2014 School Performance Profile

Mehoopany Elementary School achieved a score of 81.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 71% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 77% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 82.8% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[128]

2013 School Performance Profile

Mehoopany Elementary School achieved a score of 74.5 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 71% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 84% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 76% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, just 68% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[129]

AYP history

In 2012, Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status.[130] In 2010 and 2011, Mehoopany Elementary School achieved AYP status. In 2011, only 78% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In math, 87% of the students in 3rd and 4th grades were on grade level and 58% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils were on grade level.[131]

Mill City Elementary School[edit]

Mill City Elementary School is located at RR 2, Dalton. In 2014, the school's enrollment was 214 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 48% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 8% of the pupils receive special education services, while none of the students were identified as gifted.[132] 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.[133] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 216 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 95 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 19 teachers, yielding a low student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[134] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[135]

2014 School Performance Profile

Mill City 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 76% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 77% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 81% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 100% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[136]

2013 School Performance Profile

Mill City Elementary School achieved a score of out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 80% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 84% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, just 92.7% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[137]

AYP History

In 2010 through 2012, Mill City Elementary School achieved AYP status.[138] In 2011, just 79% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In math, 81% of the students in 3rd and 4th grades were on grade level and 56% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 75% of the pupils were on grade level.[139]

Roslund Elementary School[edit]

Roslund Elementary School is located at 99 Digger Drive, Tunkhannock. In 2014, the school's enrollment was 317 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th with 38% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 9% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[140] 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.[141] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 342 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 144 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 28 teachers, yielding a low student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[142] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[143]

2014 School Performance Profile

Roslund Elementary School achieved a score of 81.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 69% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 71% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 86% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 87% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[144]

2013 School Performance Profile

Roslund Elementary School achieved a score of 82 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 76% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 85% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 86% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[145]

AYP History

In 2010 through 2012, Roslund Elementary School achieved AYP status.[146][147] In 2011, 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In math, 86% of the students in 3rd and 4th grades were on grade level and 52% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 92% of the pupils were on grade level.[148]

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, the district administration reported that 393 pupils or 14.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 43.5% of identified students having a specific learning disability.[149] In December 2010, the district administration reported that 440 pupils or 15% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 47% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 440 pupils or 15% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[150]

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.[151] The district has offered all day kindergarten since 2005-06. Tunkhannock Area School District has seen an minimal decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

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.[152] 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.[153] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[154] 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.[155] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[156]

Tunkhannock School District received a $1,679,655 supplement for special education services in 2010.[157] 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.[158][159] For the 2014-2015 school year, ASD received an increase to $1,702,628 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[160] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The district must apply for this added funding.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 53 or 1.7% of its students were gifted in 2009.[161] 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.[162][163]

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.[164]

in May 2015, the Tunkhannock teachers union went on strike for one day, extending their Memorial Day break. The strike was limited by state laws requiring school finish by June 15.[165] In 2013, the highest paid classroom teacher in Tunkhannock Area School District received $74,671.[166]

Teacher union strikes

Of the nearly 140 teacher strikes that occurred nationally between 2000 and 2007, 60 percent took place in Pennsylvania, according to a report released in August 2012, by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy.[167] Pennsylvania is one of 13 states in which teacher strikes are legal. Pennsylvania has the highest rate of teacher strikes in the United States.[168] In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there were three teacher union strikes in 2010; one teacher union strike in 2011, one teacher union strike in 2012 and three teacher union strikes in 2013.[169] Crestwood School District in Luzerne County went on strike in 2009. Neshaminy School District teachers union went on strike twice in 2012.[170][171] Wyoming Area School District, Old Forge School District and Shaler Area School District went on strike in the fall of 2013.[172] Wyoming Area School District and Danville Area School District teachers went on strike in the spring of 2014.[173] In the fall of 2014, three Pennsylvania public school district teachers unions went on strike including: Millville Area School District, East Allegheny School District and Old Forge School District.[174]

In 2014, The average Tunkhannock Area School District teacher salary was $60,165.[175] The teachers also receive a benefits package which includes: health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, a lucrative state pension (teachers contribute 7%), paid sick days, personal days, and professional development reimbursement. Teachers who have been at the district for 12 years or more receive an added benefit of $50 per unused sick or personal day.[176]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Tunkhannock Area School District was $58,716 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $24,270 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $82,986.[177] The district employed 244 teachers with an average salary of $59,179 and a top salary of $116,319.[178]

In 2009, Tunkhannock Area School District reported employing 294 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $56,773 and a top salary of $107,543.[179] The teacher’s work day is 7.5 hours with a duty-free lunch and daily preparation period. The teachers work 185 days in the contract year (182 pupil instruction). Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance (employee pays 1% of salary towards premium), dental insurance, life insurance, an accident death insurance plan, professional development reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits. Teachers who have been at the district for 12 years or more receive an added benefit of $50 per unused sick or personal day.[180][181] In 2011, the average teacher salary in Tunkhannock Area School District was $57,815.03 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $18,043.50 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $75,858.53.[182] 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.[183]

For the 2011-12 school year the Tunkhannock Area School Board and teachers' union agreed to a one-year contract which froze salaries. The freeze did not include step increases nor an increase in tuition reimbursement.[184] In exchange for the pay freeze the Board agreed to not layoff teachers in response to declining enrollment. In 2011, 25 teachers resigned. In June 2012, the Board announced the elimination of more than 30 faculty positions due to declining enrollment and fiscal challenges.[185]

Tunkhannock Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $608.34 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[186] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[187]

Per-pupil spending In 2008, Tunkhannock Area School District administration reported that per-pupil spending was $12,709 which ranked 197th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. By 2010, the per-pupil spending had increased to $13,901.85.[188] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[189] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[190] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[191]

Reserves In 2008, Tunkhannock Area School District reported a balance of $3,843,466 in an unreserved-undesignated fund. The unreserved-designated fund balance was reported as zero. [192] In 2010, Tunkhannock Area Administration reported an increase to $4,400,331 in the unreserved-undesignated fund and a balance of 4,400,331 in the reserved fund. In 2012, the district reported its reserves were $4,946,693.[193] 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.[194]

Audit In April 2012, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Tunkhannock Area School District. Significant findings included Overpayment of Subsidies and Reimbursements which were reported to the School Board and the district’s administration.[195]

Tuition Students who live in the Tunkhannock Area School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Tunkhannock 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 Tunkhannock Area School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School -$9,758.43, High School - $9,999.11.[196]

Tunkhannock Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[197] Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the district. Private, state and federal grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[198] 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.[199]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, School District receives 45.9% of its annual revenue from the state.[200]

For the 2014-15 school year, Tunkhannock Area School District received $10,716,252 in State Basic Education funding. The district also received $320,122 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.[201] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[202]

For the 2013-14 school year, Tunkhannock Area School District received a 1.5% increase or $10,715,039 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $156,645 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the district. Additionally, Tunkhannock Area School District received $170,061 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Wyoming County, Tunkhannock Area received the highest percentage increase in BEF. 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.[203] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[204]

For the 2012-13 school year, Tunkhannock Area School District received $10,728,455 in basic education funding.[205] 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. Tunkhannock Area School District received $170,061 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[206] 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.

In 2011-12, Tunkhannock Are School District received a $10,558,394, allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[207][208] Additionally, the Tunkhannock Area School District received $170,061 in Accountability Block Grant funding. Tunkhannock Area School District received $170,061 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 is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[209] 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.[210] In 2010, the district reported that 1,289 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[211]

In the 2010-2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $11,023,457 to Tunkhannock Area School District. Among the districts in Wyoming County, the highest increase went to Lackawanna Trail School District which got a 2.25% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[212] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where a district received at least the same amount as the year before, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by then 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.

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.43% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $10,814,893. Among the districts in Wyoming County, Tunkhannock Area School District received the highest increase. 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.[213] 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.[214]

The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $10,558,393.78. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1,144 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[215]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, Tunkhannock Area School District applied for and received $461,589 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten.[216][217]

PreK Counts grant[edit]

Tunkhannock Area School District receives state funding to provide preschool through H.A.N.D.S. OF Wyoming County. For the 2011 school year, Pre-K Counts was funded at the 2010 levels of $83.6 million statewide in Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget. The state also supplements the federal Head Start preschool program with an additional $37.6 million. Pre-K Counts funding was initiated during the Rendell administration. In 2007-08 the state funded Pre-K Counts at $75 million.[218] In 2009-10 the district received $209,350 to provide preschool to 17 children.[219][220] In 2012, the district received $221,590 for PreK Counts programs.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Tunkhannock Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07 or in 2007-08. The district received $154,610 in 2008-09.[221] The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

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, Tunkhannock Area School District received $67,184.[222]

Other grants[edit]

The Tunkhannock Area 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 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant; 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[223] Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget) nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Tunkhannock Area School District received an extra $3,569,062 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[224] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[225] 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]

Tunkhannock Area School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided nearly one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement.[226] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[227] 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.[228][229][230]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2014-15 were set by the Tunkhannock Area School Board at 72.0000 mills.[231] 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.[232] When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[233] 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.[234]

The average yearly property tax paid by Wyoming County residents amounts to about 3.73% of their yearly income. Wyoming County ranked 304th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[241] According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[242] 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%).[243]

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.[244] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[245] 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.[246][247]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Tunkhannock Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[248]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Tunkhannock Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[253] 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.[254]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Tunkhannock Area School Board applied for one exception to exceed their Act 1 Index limit due to rapidly increasing teacher pension costs. 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.[255]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Tunkhannock Area School Board applied for 2 exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: special education and increasing mandated teacher pension costs. 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.[256]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Tunkhannock Area School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index for the teachers' pensions. Each year, the Tunkhannock Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[257]

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.[258]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2012, Tunkhannock Area School District approved homestead properties received $218.[259] The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The amount of property tax relief each Pennsylvania public school district receives is announced by the PDE in May of each year. The amount of tax relief is dependent on the total tax revenue collected on the casino slots in the previous year. Thirty five percent of the slots tax revenues are used for property tax relief. In Wyoming County, the highest tax relief went to Lackawanna Trail School District which was set at $222.[260] The highest property tax relief provided, among Pennsylvania school districts, goes to the homesteads of Chester Upland School District in Delaware County which received $632 per approved homestead in 2010. Chester-Upland School District has consistently been the top recipient since the programs inception.[261][262]

In Pennsylvania, the homestead exclusion reduces the assessed values of homestead properties, reducing the property tax on these homes. The homestead exclusion allows homeowners real property tax relief of up to one half of the median assessed value of homesteads in the taxing jurisdiction (county, school district, city, borough, or township).[263]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently people who have an income of substantially more than $35,000 still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This tax rebate can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief. In 2012, the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Treasury reported issuing more than half a million property tax rebates totaling $238 million.[264] The Property tax/rent rebate program is funded by revenues from the Pennsylvania Lottery. In 2012, these property tax rebates were increased by an additional 50 percent for senior households in the state, so long as those households have incomes under $30,000 and pay more than 15% of their income in property taxes.[265]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Tunkhannock Area School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania interscholastic Athletics Association (PIAA).

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing 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.[266]

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.[267][268][269]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[270]

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.[271][272]

Tunkhannock Area School District has failed to provide its athletics disclosure form on its web site.[273] Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[274]

The district funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013[275]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pennsylvania's salaries for school teachers, administrators 2013-14, May 2015
  2. ^ National Center for Education Statistics (2013). "Common Core of Data Tuckhannock Area School District". 
  3. ^ PDE (2014). "Tunkhannock Area School District Fast Facts 2014". 
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment by LEA, July 2013
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA, July 2011
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 20, 2011). "Enrollment and Projections by school district". 
  7. ^ Tunkhannock Area School Board (May 25, 2015). "Tunkhannock Area School District Budget 2015-16" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Tunkhannock Area School Board (June 26, 2014). "Tunkhannock Area School District Budget 2014-15" (PDF). 
  9. ^ Michael Wintermute (July 20, 2013). "Budget woes still plague Tunkhannock School District". The Citizen Voice. 
  10. ^ Tunkhannock Area School District Administration (2012). "Tunkhannock Area School District BUdgets". 
  11. ^ ROBERT L. BAKER (June 30, 2011). "Tunkhannock makes tough choices with $42.2 million budget". The Times-Tribune. 
  12. ^ New America Foundation (2011). "Federal Education Budget Project". 
  13. ^ US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Poverty Data by Local Educational Agency, 2011
  14. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 2009
  15. ^ US Census Bureau (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". 
  16. ^ US Census Bureau (September 2011). "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010" (PDF). 
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General, Report on Tunkhannock Area School District 2012, April 25, 2012
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°29′17″N 75°56′40″W / 41.48800°N 75.94436°W / 41.48800; -75.94436