Upper Dauphin School District

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Upper Dauphin Area School District
Map of Dauphin County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
5668 State Route 209
Lykens, Pennsylvania, Dauphin County 17048-8414
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Mr. Evan P Williams (February 2013-June 2016)
Administrator

Mrs Mary Bateman, Business Manager, salary $52,000 2013[1]

Brandy M. Wiest, Supervisor of Special Education
Principal

Mr Dermot Garrett, HS (2014)[2]

David A. Geanette, former HS principal
Principal

Mr Jared Shade, MS (2014)

Abbey J. Walshaw-Wertz, former MS principal
Principal Jessica S. Megonnell, ES
Staff 104 non teaching staff members
Teaching staff 76 teachers (2010)
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education pupils
Pupils

1,213 pupils (2015)[3]
1,254 pupils (2014),[4]
1,237 pupils (2013),
1,278 pupils (2012),
1,257 pupils (2009-2010)[5]

1,282 pupils (2006-2007)[6]
 • Kindergarten 80 (2013), 103 (2010)
 • Grade 1 102 (2013), 90
 • Grade 2 81 (2013), 82
 • Grade 3 97 (2013), 98
 • Grade 4 86 (2013), 86
 • Grade 5 96 (2013) 88
 • Grade 6 104 (2013), 119
 • Grade 7 101 (2013), 80
 • Grade 8 94 (2013), 103
 • Grade 9 107 (2013), 101
 • Grade 10 84 (2013), 95
 • Grade 11 110 (2013), 98
 • Grade 12 101 (2013), 114 in 2010
 • Other Enrollment projected to decline to 1,150 pupils[7]
Color(s) Orange, Black and White
Mascot Trojans
Budget

$18,300,257.80 (2015-16)[8]
$16.7 million (2012-13)

$17.1 million (2008-09)
Per pupil spending $13,524 (2008)
Per pupil Spending $20,460.72 (ranked 15th in state)
Website

The Upper Dauphin Area School District is a small, rural, public school district located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is fragmented in four discontinuous pieces, including: the boroughs of Lykens, Elizabethville, Gratz, Berrysburg, and Pillow, as well as Jefferson Township, Washington Township, Mifflin Township, and Lykens Township. Upper Dauphin Area School District encompasses approximately 91 square miles (240 km2). According to 2007 local census data, it serves a resident population of 9,723 people. By 2010, the District's population was 9,759 people.[9] The educational attainment levels for the District's population aged 25 years and over were 81.4% high school graduates and 10.6% college graduates.[10]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 38% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[11] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $18,098, while the median family income was $45,231.[12] In Dauphin County, the median household income was $52,371.[13] In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the median family income was $49,501[14] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[15]

In school year 2007-08, Upper Dauphin Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,250 pupils through the employment of 108 teachers, 62 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 9 administrators. In 2010, the District provided basic educational services to 1,256 pupils. Upper Dauphin Area School District employed: 106 teachers, 60 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 9 administrators during the 2009-10 school year. The District received $8.3 million in state funding in the 2009-10 school year.

Upper Dauphin Area School District operates three schools: Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, and Upper Dauphin Area High School.

Governance[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area School District is governed by a 9-member school board that is locally elected to serve four-year terms, by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[16] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and President George W. Bush's 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.[17] 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.[18] Upper Dauphin Area School District is divided into three regions for electoral purposes. Three School Board Directors are chosen from each region. Region 1 is composed of Mifflin Township and Washington Township. Region 2 is composed of Lykens Township, Jefferson Township and Elizabethville Borough. Region 3 is composed of Gratz Borough, Lykens Borough, Berrysburg Borough and Pillow Borough.

The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the local 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.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2015, Upper Dauphin Area School District ranked 308th out of 496 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[22] 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.[23] 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 and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

Overachievers ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Upper Dauphin Area School District ranked 431st out of 498 school districts in the ranking. The paper 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."[28]

  • 2012 - 335th[29]
  • 2011 - 454th
  • 2010 - 483rd
  • 2009 - 498th

Upper Dauphin Area School District students academic achievement fell in the 45th percentile in Pennsylvania public school districts in 2009. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[30]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, the Upper Dauphin Area School District’s graduation rate was 97%.[31]

  • 2014 - 90.9%.[32]
  • 2013 - 87%.[33]
  • 2012 - 90%.[34]
  • 2011 - 96%.[35]
  • 2010 - 89%, the PDE issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[36]
Former calculation graduation rate

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Upper Dauphin Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[41] In 2011, Upper Dauphin Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of Pennsylvania public school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[42][43] Upper Dauphin Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[44]

High school[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area High School is located at 220 N Church Street, Elizabethville. In 2015, enrollment declined further to 386 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 34% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 10% of pupils received special education services, while 0.26% of pupils were identified as gifted.[45] In 2014, enrollment was reported as 396 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 33% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 13.3% of pupils received special education services, while less than 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 27 teachers.[46] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

In 2013, the school's enrollment was 402 pupils in grades 9th through 12, with 32% of pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Thirteen percent of pupils received special education services. The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 100% of its teachers were rated Highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2013.[47]

In 2010, Upper Dauphin Area High School had 412 students enrolled in grades 9th through 12th, with 85 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 27 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[48] The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 10 teachers were rated Non-Highly qualified under No Child Left Behind in 2012.[49] High school student parking fees are $50, effective with the 2011-12 school year.

2015 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area High School achieved 76 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.The PDE reported that 76.8% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 67% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 58.5% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[50] 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.[51][52]

2014 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area High School achieved a score of 72.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 83% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, only 62% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, just 43% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[53][54] 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%.[55]

2013 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area High School achieved a score of 56.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 74% were on grade level. In Algebra 1 66.67% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 35% showed on grade level science understanding.[56] In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education discontinued the PSSA for 11th graders. Instead students take a Keystone Exam at the end of the specific course.

AYP History

In 2012, Upper Dauphin Area High School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and math. In 2011 and 2010, the Upper Dauphin Area High School achieved AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status.[57] Upper Dauphin Area High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress each school year beginning in 2003.

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level, (27% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[58]
  • 2011 - 67% (13% below basic). State - 69.1% [59]
  • 2010 - 70%, State - 67%
  • 2009 - 69%, State - 65%
  • 2008 - 75%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 65%, State - 65%[60]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 53% on grade level (26% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[61]
  • 2011 - 65%, (19% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 64%, State - 59%
  • 2009 - 71%, State - 56% [62]
  • 2008 - 51%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 60%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 29% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[63]
  • 2011 - 32%, (22% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 31%, State - 39%
  • 2009 - 48%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 24%, State - 39%[64]

Science in Motion Upper Dauphin Area High School did not take 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.[65] Susquehanna University provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 39% of Upper Dauphin Area 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.[66][67] Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, 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.[68] 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, 49 Upper Dauphin Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 509. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 478.[69] 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.[70]

In 2013, 39 Upper Dauphin Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 485. The Math average score was 479. The Writing average score was 467. 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.[71]

In 2012, 41 Upper Dauphin Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 482. The Math average score was 464. The Writing average score was 481. 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, 42 Upper Dauphin Area students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 476. The Math average score was 463. The Writing average score was 462.[72] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[73] 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.[74]

Dual enrollment[edit]

The Upper Dauphin Area High School does not offer the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. The program is offered through over 400 school districts with the assistance of a state grant.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Upper Dauphin Area School Board has determined that students must earn 25 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math (Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra II) 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Health and Physical Education 2 credits and Electives 8 credits.[75]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[76] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[77]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2017, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature by passing the Keystone Exams for the subject.[78][79][80] 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.[81] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student be successful. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[82][83] 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.[84] Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

AP Courses[edit]

In 2014, Upper Dauphin Area High School offered 2 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students may take the AP exam if they take an AP course. The fee for each AP Exam was $91 (2014).[85] The school normally retains $9 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs. In 2012, the fee was $89 per test per pupil. Upper Dauphin Area students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class regardless of the student's score on the AP exam. At Upper Dauphin Area High School less than 10% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[86] Upper Dauphin Area High School did not offer Advance Placement (AP) courses in 2013. In 2015, the School offered 2 AP courses, with none of the pupils who took the course earning a 3 or better on the associated AP exam given by the College Board.

Middle school[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area Middle School is located at 5668 State Route 209. Lykens. In 2015, enrollment declined to 368 pupils, in grades 5th through 8th, with 39% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of pupils received special education services, while 1.9% of pupils were identified as gifted.[87] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[88] In 2014, enrollment was 394 pupils, in grades 5th through 8th, with 41% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14.7% of pupils received special education services, while less than 1% of pupils were identified as gifted.[89]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the School had 387 students enrolled in grades 5th through 8th, with 113 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 23 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[90] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind Act.[91]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE reported that 64% of 8th grade students at Upper Dauphin Area Middle School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 40% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 70% of the school’s 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 47% were on grade level in reading, while 34% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 68% were on grade level in reading and 43% were on grade level in mathematics. Among fifth graders, 77% of 5th grade students were on grade level in reading. In mathematics, 31% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported.[92] Statewide 58% of eighth (8th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 29% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 7th graders were 58% on grade level in reading and 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among sixth (6th) graders, 60.7% were reading on grade level, while 39.7% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[93]

2014 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area Middle School achieved 85.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 73% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 77.7% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 71.8% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 81% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[94]

2013 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area Middle School achieved 75.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 67% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, 73.9% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, just 60.67% of the 8th graders demonstrated n grade level understanding. In writing, 55.75% of the 8th grade students were on grade level.[95]

AYP History

In 2012, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School again achieved AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status using Growth Model and using Safe Harbor.[96] In 2011, Upper Dauphin Middle School was in Warning status. In 2010, the School achieved AYP status.[97] From 2003 to 2009, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School achieved AYP status each school year.

PSSA Results:

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are NCLB related examination given in the Spring of each school year. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. 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.[98] 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.[99] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[100] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[101]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 86% on grade level, 60% advanced (5% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[102]
  • 2011 - 88%, 70% advanced (6% below basic). State - 81.8%.[103]
  • 2010 - 83%, State - 81%[104]
  • 2009 - 83%, State - 80%[105]
  • 2008 - 62%, State - 78%
  • 2007 - 66%, State - 75%
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 92% on grade level, 66% advanced. State - 76% [106]
  • 2011 - 85%, 58% advanced, (5% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 82%, State - 75%
  • 2009 - 73%, State - 71%
  • 2008 - 68%, State - 70%
  • 2007 - 73%, State - 67%
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 72% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 68%, (13% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 64%, State - 57%
  • 2009 - 49%, State: 54%
  • 2008 - 45%, State - 52%[107]
Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Upper Dauphin Area School District did not implement a free dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school.[108] 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.[109]

Elementary school[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School is located at 5668 State Route 209. Lykens. In 2015, the School's enrollment was 445 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 48.7% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.45% are identified as gifted.[110] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school provides full day kindergarten.[111] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2014, the School's enrollment was 464 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 49.5% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 10.3% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[112] 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.[113] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2010, Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School had 456 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 166 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 23 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 20:1.[114] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[115]

Upper Dauphin Area School District adopted a plan for more full-day kindergarten classes for the 2012-13 school year. A lottery for placement in full-day kindergarten versus half day is conducted. The District's Title I allocation (Federal payments for low-income children) increased from $306,461 to $490,688. The additional federal funds is anticipated to offset some of the costs for extra teachers.[116]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in 4th grade, 56% were on grade level in reading, while 42% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 85% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 42% were on grade level in reading and 51% were on grade level in mathematics. Statewide, 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.[117]

2014 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School achieved a score of 78.3 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, just 72 of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[118]

2013 School Performance Profile

Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School achieved a score of 91.2 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 82% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 90.53% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[119]

AYP History

In 2004 through 2012, Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[120]

PSSA History

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science.[121] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[122][123][124] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[125]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 96%, 57% advanced. State - 82%
  • 2011 - 90%, 50% advanced. State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 84%, 46% advanced. State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, the District ad5.4ministration reported that 174 pupils or 13.8% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 4% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[129] In December 2012, the Upper Dauphin Area School District administration reported that 188 pupils or 15.1% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 42.6% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[130]

In 2011, Upper Dauphin Area School District reported that 177 pupils or 14% received special education services with 41% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In 2010, Upper Dauphin Area School District reported that 167 pupils or 13% received special education services with 42% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In 2008, Upper Dauphin Area School District reported that 11% of its pupils received special education services. Thirty seven percent of the district's special students were identified as having a Specific Learning Disability.[131]

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.[132] Upper Dauphin Area School District has seen an increase in the percentage of special education students it serves each year, yielding no savings.

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress .[133] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the district's Special Education Department.[134][135] The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[136] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[137] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[138] 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.[139] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[140]

The Upper Dauphin Area School District received a $760,430 supplement for special education services in 2010.[141] For the 2011-12, 2012–13, 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.[142][143] For the 2014-2015 school year, Upper Dauphin Area School District received an increase to $776,824 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[144] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

Gifted education[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area School District Administration reported that less than 10 of its students were gifted in 2009.[145] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[146][147]

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.[148]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Upper Dauphin Area School District was $81,919 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $21,826 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $103,745.[149][150] Upper Dauphin Area School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[151] After 40 years of service, a teacher can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment.

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Upper Dauphin Area School District was $56,042 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $18,386 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $74,428.88.[152]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Upper Dauphin Area School District was $52,936 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $15,822 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $68,758.[153] 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.[154]

In 2009, Upper Dauphin Area School District reported employing over 100 teachers and administrators with a salary range of $40,000 to $107,500. The median teacher salary was $57,205.[155] Teachers work 7.5 hours a day with a 30-minute paid duty-free lunch period. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance (with a small employee contribution), dental insurance, vision insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[156]

In 2007, the Upper Dauphin Area School District employed 108 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $48,171 for 190 days worked (includes 8 inservice days and 2 flex days).[157] The current teacher contract ends in June 2014.[158]

Administrative costs Upper Dauphin Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $804 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[159] In April 2010, Dr. Elaine E. Eib abruptly resigned from her position as superintendent. On Oct. 31, 2009, the school board had renewed Dr. Eib’s contract for five years, beginning July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2015. Eib’s 2009-10 salary was $107,500.[160] Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[161] According to PSBA, the median Superintendent salary, in the Commonwealth, rose to over $130,000 in 2011.[162] Elb left the district unexpectedly in April 2010. Paul Caputo served as superintendent for a brief time before he moved to Southern Columbia Area School District as Superintendent in February 2013. Caputo's salary was $98,000 for 2010-11. Upon hiring, he stated an intent to remain with the District for many years.[163]

Per pupil spending In 2008, Upper Dauphin Area School District reported spending $13,524 per pupil.This ranked 135th in the commonwealth.[164] In 2010, the per pupil spending was $13,238.46[165] Among the 50 states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[166] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[167]

Reserves In 2008, Upper Dauphin Area School District reported a balance of $92,659 in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $2,624,801.[168] In 2010, Upper Dauphin Area Administration reported a decrease to $2,163,894.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The unreserved-designated fund had a balance of $184,530. By 2013, Upper Dauphin reserves had increased to $5,030,426. 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.[169]

Audit In January 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Upper Dauphin Area School District. The results were reported to the school board and administration.[170] In June 2013, the District was audited again. Multiple issues including improper reporting of Retirement Wages and certification deficiencies were found. Additionally, auditors identified serious reporting errors which resulted in overpayments of transportation reimbursement totaling $302,011 in the 2009-10 school year and overpayments of $252,702 in the 2008-09 school year. According to the auditors, the errors were caused by the contractor providing District personnel with incorrect mileage reports for all buses. This was reported to the school board and administration.[171]

Tuition Students who live in the Upper Dauphin 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 Upper Dauphin Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,961.52, High School - $9,565.39.[172]

Billing fraud In 2014, the owner of a defunct bus company (Harris Transportation Corp.) plead guilty to fraudulently billing for bus services to Upper Dauphin Area School District by over billing 898,000.[173]

Tax shift referendum In November 2014, UDASD voters rejected a shift from the local occupation tax to an earned income tax. The vote was 52% no and 49% yes.[174] The occupation tax is $250 a year for all earners of more than $2,400 in a year.

Upper Dauphin Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local annual occupation tax, a property tax, a per capita taxes of $10 a year, on each resident over 18 years of age, an occupation privilege tax of $250 a year, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes.[175] Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the District. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[176] 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.[177]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Upper Dauphin Area School District receives 49.6% of its annual revenue from the state.[178]

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $2,683,605 to Upper Dauphin Area School District, in January 2016.[179] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[180] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[181][182][183]

For the 2014-15 school year, Upper Dauphin Area School District will receive $5,519,718 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $157,248 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.[184] 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.[185]

For the 2013-14 school year, Upper Dauphin Area School District received a 1.5% increase or $5,517,249 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $$83,820 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Upper Dauphin Area School District received $74,793 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Dauphin County, Derry Township School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 5.4%. 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.[186] 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.[187]

For the 2012-13 school year, Upper Dauphin Area School District received $5,433,429.[188] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. Upper Dauphin Area School District received $74,793 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[189] This amount was a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In the 2011-12 school year, Upper Dauphin Area School District received a $5,433,429 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[190][191] Additionally, Upper Dauphin Area School District received $74,794 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.[192] 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.[193] In 2010, the district reported that 349 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[194]

For the 2010-2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 4.88% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,647,316 to Upper Dauphin Area School District. Among the districts in Dauphin County, the highest increase went to Susquehanna Township School District which got a 15.89% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase statewide went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state basic education funding.[195] 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 receives was set by Governor Edward G. 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 the Governor’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 3.94% increase in Basic Education Funding to Upper Dauphin Area School District for a total of $5,647,317. Seven Dauphin County school districts received increases of over 4.5% in Basic Education Funding in 2009-10. Susquehanna Township School District received a 10.66% increase. In Pennsylvania, over 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The amount of increase each school district received was determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[196]

The state's Basic Education Funding to the Upper Dauphin Area School District in 2008-09 was $5,433,429.42[197] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 282 district students received free or reduced- price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[198] 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.[199][200]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through several other 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.[201]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, the Upper Dauphin Area School District applied for and received $203,008. in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 7th year and for Literacy, for teacher training and math coaching for the teachers.[202][203]

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.[204]

Upper Dauphin Area School District received $157,248 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, Accountability Block Grant funding, PreK Counts funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. The Upper Dauphin Area School District did not apply to participate.[205] In Dauphin County the highest award was given to Harrisburg School District - $692,809. 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 by Governor Edward Rendell.

Science It’s Elementary grant[edit]

Two Upper Dauphin Area schools successfully applied to participate and received a Science It’s Elementary grants in 2008-09. Both Upper Dauphin Area Elementary and Upper Dauphin Area Middle School participated. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 2,847 teachers and 66,973 students across Pennsylvania.[206] In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program is a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[207] To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training.[208] The District was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. They had to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated. The 2006-07 State Education Budget provided $635 million in new spending for pre-K through 12th grades for the 2006-07 school year. This marks an 8-percent increase over 2005-06 public school funding.[209] The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget.

Other grants[edit]

The Upper Dauphin Area School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants;[210][211] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[212] 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[213] Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget);[214][215] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area School District received an extra $1,014,959 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[216] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 292 students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income in 2008.[217][218] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[219] 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]

Upper Dauphin Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would bring the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[220] 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.[221] Pennsylvania was not approved. The failure of many school districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[222]

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 provide each child in public schools with “Highly Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[223] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[224] 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, Upper Dauphin Area School District received $57,428 in federal Title II funding.[225] In 2014-15, Upper Dauphin Area School District applied for and received $51,639.[226]

English language learners grant[edit]

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

In 2012-13, Upper Dauphin Area School District received $543 in Title III funding for English language learners.[229] For 2014-15, Upper Dauphin Area School District received $855 in Title III funding.[230]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2015-16 were set by the school board at 17.6908 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.[232] 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. According to state tax policy, unlike other states, natural gas and oil pipelines are exempted from property taxes.[233]

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.[234] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two or more counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[235] 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.[236]

The average yearly property tax paid by Dauphin County residents amounts to about 3.48% of their yearly income. Dauphin County ranked 382nd out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[247] 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.[248] 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%).[249]

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.[250]

In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation eliminating six of the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[251] 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.[252][253] The legislature also froze the payroll amount public school districts use to calculate the pension-plan exception at the 2012 payroll levels. Further increases in payroll cannot be used to raise the district’s exception for pension payments.

A specific timeline for Act I Index decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[254]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Upper Dauphin Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[255]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Upper Dauphin Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for special education cost and for its rapidly rising teacher pension costs. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[262]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Upper Dauphin 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).[263] 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.[264]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Upper Dauphin Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[265]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Upper Dauphin Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. 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. In Area School District the approved real estate tax rate Increase due to exceptions was 3.7148 mills.[266]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Upper Dauphin Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the 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.[267]

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.[268]

In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted by the PDE, to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.[269]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2014, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Upper Dauphin Area School District was $163 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2570 property owners applied for the tax relief.[270] The decline in amount was related to more residents applying for tax relief and a decline in table games tax revenues. The amount received by the District must be divided equally among all approved residences.[271]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Upper Dauphin Area School District was $171 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2450 property owners applied for the tax relief. In Dauphin County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2009, went to Harrisburg City School District at $446.[272] 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. In Dauphin County, 68.71% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[273] Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[274] This was the second year they were the top recipient.

According to a report released by the Pennsylvania Auditor General in 2009, in Dauphin County, 68.71% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[275]

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%).[276]

Enrollment[edit]

According to Pennsylvania Department of Education enrollment reports, there were 1,257 students enrolled in K-12 in 2009–10 school year at Upper Dauphin Area School District. There were 117 students in the Class of 2009. The District's class of 2010 had 98 students.[277] In 2012, enrollment was 1,278 and in 2013 it had declined to 1,237 pupils. In 2008, the District administrative costs were $804 per pupil. This ranked 194th out of 500 public school districts. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[278] A study of Pennsylvania public school spending, conducted by Standard and Poor's, examined the consolidation of Upper Dauphin Area School District with neighboring Halifax Area School District. The study found that consolidation of the administrations would achieve substantial administrative cost savings (over $1000 per pupil).[279]

According to a 2009 school district administration consolidation proposal by Governor Edward Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging academic achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to reduce property taxes.[280] Consolidation of two central administrations into one would not require the closing of any schools. The Governor's proposal called for the savings to be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.[281]

As the child aged population has declined in Pennsylvania since 2000, the public schools have experienced a student enrollment decline. The per pupil administrative costs of the impacted Pennsylvania public school districts continued to rise. In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants released a report finding that the state would save hundreds of millions of tax dollars, by cutting the number of school administrations in half through consolidation, with no impact on programs offered to students.[282]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. There were 500 school districts in the Commonwealth in 2009. Eighty percent 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.[283] In 2009, Governor Edward Rendell called for consolidating to 100 school districts.[284] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[285]

Wellness policy[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[286] 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."

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 and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, 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.[287] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Upper Dauphin Area School District also offers both a free school breakfast and free school lunch to low-income children. 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.[288] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[289]

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.[290] 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.[291] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93.

In 2014, President Barack Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[292] The Food and Drug Administration requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[293][294]

Upper Dauphin Area 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.[295][296] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[297]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Upper Dauphin Area School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and costly sports. Eligibility to participate is determined by school board policies.[298] Due to financial difficulties the Board voted to eliminate the costly activity busses and raised the pay-to-play fee to just $30 annual charge, no matter how many sports the student uses.[299] A joint Pennsylvania School Board Association and Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association survey, conducted in 2012, found nearly one third (30%) of public school respondents indicated charging individual students $10 to $250, with a statewide average of $65 per-sport.[300][301]

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.[302]

According to the Pennsylvania 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.[303][304]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[305]

Upper Dauphin Area School District failed to provide its athletics disclosure form on its web site.[306] 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.[307]

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.[308][309]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [310][311]

Intermediate unit[edit]

The Upper Dauphin Area School District is served by the Capital Area Intermediate Unit 15 which offers a variety of services, including a completely developed K-12 curriculum that is mapped and aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards (available online), shared services, a group purchasing program and a wide variety of special education and special needs services. The Intermediate Unit is governed by a Board of Directors that are members of a local school board from the IU's member school districts. Board members are elected by school directors of each school district for three-year terms that begin July 1.[312] There are 29 intermediate units in Pennsylvania. They are funded by school districts, state and federal program specific funding and grants. IUs do not have the power to tax. In 2007-08, Upper Dauphin Area School Districts paid $756,063.25 to CAIU15 for special education services.[313]

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