West Greene School District

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West Greene School District
Map of Greene County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
1367 Hargus Creek Road
Northeast United States
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Greene County 15370-8618
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed Aleppo Elementary School (2004) Graysville Elementary School (2015) Springhill-Freeport Elemetary School (2015)
Superintendent Mr. Brian R. Jackson
Administrator

Mrs. Jessica Bissett - Business Manager
Chelsey Holloway, Assistant to the Superintendent Assistant to Superintendent
Bob Ward, Director of Educational and Informational Technology
John McDermott, Director of Facilities
Jim Elsenheimer, Director of Food Services

Bill Simms, Athletic Director
Principal Don Painter EC salary $72,120
Principal Scott Sakai MS/HS salary $74,263
Staff 44.30
Faculty 73 teachers[1]
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old for special education
Pupils

799 pupils (2013)[2]
800 pupils in 2012;
708 pupils in 2010–11;[3]

878 pupils (2006-2007)
 • Kindergarten 69 (2012),[4] 52 (2010)
 • Grade 1 56 (2012), 55
 • Grade 2 64 (2012), 62
 • Grade 3 53 (2012), 71
 • Grade 4 62 (2012), 49
 • Grade 5 54 (2012), 51
 • Grade 6 74 (2012), 62
 • Grade 7 49 (2012), 67
 • Grade 8 53 (2012), 68
 • Grade 9 69 (2012), 66
 • Grade 10 71 (2012), 70
 • Grade 11 58 (2012), 84
 • Grade 12 67 (2012), 66 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment declining to 680 in 2019
Medium of language English
Mascot Pioneers
Budget $15,128,302 (2013-2014)[5]
Per pupil spending $22,101 (2008)
Per pupil spending $20,052.73 (2010)
Website

West Greene School District is a diminutive, rural, public school district located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Per the administration, 800 students attended West Greene School District in 2012. The District serves a large rural region of approximately 256 square miles (660 km2). It includes Morris Township, Center Township, Gray Township, Jackson Township, Gilmore Township, Freeport Township, Springhill Township, Aleppo Township, and Richhill Township According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 5,917. By 2010, the District's population declined to 5,102 people.[6] In 2009, the district residents' per capita income was $14,228, while the median family income was $35,149 a year.[7] The educational attainment levels for the population 25 and over were 83.7% high school graduates and 12.9% college graduates.[8]

Per West Greene School District officials, in school year 2007–2008, the West Greene School District provided basic educational services to 866 pupils through the employment of 86 teachers, 43 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 8 administrators. West Greene School District received more than $5.1 million in state funding for school year 2007–2008. The District enrollment was 757 pupils in 2011-2012. It employed: 83 teachers, 37 full-time and part-time support personnel, and nine (9) administrators during the 2011-2012 school year. The District received $5.2 million in state funding in the 2011-2012 school year.

West Greene School District operates four schools: Graysville Elementary School, Springhill-Freeport Elementary School, West Greene Middle and West Greene Senior High School. The West Greene School Board approved a construction project which will add an elementary wing to the current high school-middle school building which will result in the entire District being under one roof.[9] West Greene High School students may attend Greene County Career and Technology Center. West Greene School District also operates an online academy in association with Intermediate Unit 1 which is open to students in grades 1 through 12. West Greene Online Academy high school students who complete all program requirements are awarded a West Greene High School diploma and may participate in the West Greene School District's Commencement Exercises. West Greene School District provides full-day kindergarten.[10] West Greene students may attend a cyber academy provided by IU1.

Academic achievement[edit]

West Greene School District was ranked 445th out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2014, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic performance on the reading, writing, math and science PSSAs and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[11] 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.

  • 2013 - 455th [12]
  • 2012 - 457th [13]
  • 2011 - 469th[14]
  • 2010 - 468th[15]
  • 2009 - 465th
  • 2008 - 467th
  • 2007 - 457th out of 501 school districts.[16]
Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. West Greene School District ranked 355th. In 2011, the District was ranked 435th.[17] 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."[18]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of West Greene School District was in the bottom 5th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale – (0–99; 100 is state best)[19]

State Lowest Achievement List[edit]

In July 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying one of West Greene School District schools as among the lowest-achieving schools for reading and mathematics in 2012, West Greene High School was among the 15% lowest-achieving schools in the Commonwealth. In 2011, Springhill-Freeport Elementary School was also among the lowest-achieving schools in Pennsylvania. In 2013, West Greene High School remained on the Commonwealth's lowest achieving schools list.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] West Greene schools are the only ones in Greene County on the lowest 15% achievement list. Fifty three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2012-13 school year, eight public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list, including: Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District, William Penn School District and Steelton-Highspire School District.[23] Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating.

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, West Greene School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to missing 14 of 16 academic metrics measured.[24] In 2011, West Greene 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.[25] West Greene School District achieved AYP status each year from 2006 to 2010.[26]

  • 2005 - Making Progress - School Improvement 1
  • 2004 - School Improvement 1 due to low student achievement
  • 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2013, West Greene School District's graduation rate declined further to 77%.[27] In 2012, West Greene School District's graduation rate was 79%.[28] In 2011, the District's graduation rate was 86%.[29] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. West Greene School District's rate was 88% for 2010.[30]

Former calculation graduation rate
  • 2010 – 97% [31]
  • 2009 – 84%
  • 2007 – 91% [32]

West Greene Senior High School[edit]

West Greene Senior High School is located at 1352 Hargus Creek Road, Waynesburg. In 2013, West Greene Senior High School's enrollment was reported as 256 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 44% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 20% of pupils received special education services, while 3% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 20 teachers.[33] Per the PA Department of Education 5% of the School's teachers were rated "Non‐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 285 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 116 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school is a federally designated Title I school. West Greene High School employed 21 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[34] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 19 courses were taught by teachers who were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[35]

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education identified West Greene High School as a School Improvement Tier II school which was eligible for large-scale interventions to improve student achievement through School Improvement Grants. Tier II schools are the State’s persistently lowest-achieving secondary schools.[36] The schools is on the state's list of 144 persistently low achievement – failing schools.

2013 School Performance Profile

West Greene High School achieved 54.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 72% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 32% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 30% showed on grade level science understanding.[37] 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.[38]

AYP History

In 2012, West Greene High School declined to Warning AYP status due to missing all measured academic metrics in reading and mathematics. Achievement in all three areas had dropped precipitously.[39] In 2011 and 2010, West Greene High School achieved AYP status.[40]

PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[41]

In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[42]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 59% on grade level, (25% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[43]
  • 2011 - 67% (17% below basic). State - 69.1%[44]
  • 2010 - 57% (25% below basic). State - 67%. (71 pupils enrolled)[45]
  • 2009 - 55%, State – 65%
  • 2008 - 54%, State – 65%[46]
  • 2007 - 54%, State – 65%
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 30% on grade level (43% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[47]
  • 2011 - 63% (32% below basic). State - 60.3%[48]
  • 2010 - 52% (37% below basic). State - 59% [49]
  • 2009 - 44.5%, State – 56%[50]
  • 2008 - 44%, State – 56%
  • 2007 - 44%, State – 53%[51]
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 29% on grade level (27% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[52]
  • 2011 - 36% on grade level (23% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[53]
  • 2010 - 34% (28% below basic). State – 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2009 - 29%, State – 40%[54]
  • 2008 - 22%, State – 39%[55]

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 50% of the West Greene 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.[56] 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.[57] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

West Greene 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 offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[58] West Greene is currently partnered with The University of Pittsburgh to offer these courses. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[59] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[60]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The graduation requirements for the West Greene School District are as follows: Successful completion of 26 credits. Included in the 26 credits are the following requirements: four credits of Language Arts, Social Studies 4 credits, Mathematics 4 credits, Science 4 credits, four years of Physical Education and health for 1.5 credits, Computer/Technology 1 credit, Senior Graduation Project 1 credit and Electives 6.5 credits.[61] Students must meet specific requirements to be promoted each year from 6th through 11th grades.

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students were required to 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.[62] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[63]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[64][65][66] 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.[67] 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.[68] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2013, West Greene School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 498. The Math average score was 470. The Writing average score was 459. 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.[69]

In 2012, 31 West Greene School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 511. The Math average score was 509. The Writing average score was 470. 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, 40 West Greene School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 493. The Math average score was 489. The Writing average score was 471.[70] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[71] 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.[72]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[73]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 71 percent of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania chose to continue their education after high school in 2003, whereas 79 percent of urban high school graduates opted to continue their education.

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, High School offered 6 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At West Greene High School 7% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[74]

West Greene Middle School[edit]

West Greene Middle School is located at 1352 Hargus Creek Road, Waynesburg. In 2013, enrollment was 172 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 51.7% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 13.9% of pupils received special education services, while 4% of pupils were identified as gifted.[75] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[76]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 182 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 91 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. West Greene Middle School is a federally designated Title I school. West Greene Middle School employed 18 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 10:1.[77] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 17 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[78]

2013 School Performance Profile

West Greene Middle School achieved 70.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 54% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 71% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 63% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 56% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[79]

AYP status

In 2012, West Greene Middle School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging reading and math achievement.[80] In 2011, West Greene Middle School improved to achieving AYP status.[81] In 2011, the school achieved a 92% attendance rate.[82]

  • 2010 - Making Progress: in School Improvement I AYP status due to chronic low student achievement.
  • 2009 - School Improvement I due to chronic low student achievement.[83]
  • 2004-2008 - achieved AYP status
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics

PSSA results 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.[84] 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.[85] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[86] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[87]

8th grade Science
  • 2012 - 58% on grade level (19% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 41% (39% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 31% (39% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 - 52%, State – 55%.[94]
  • 2008 - 47%, State – 52%[95]

Graysville Elementary School[edit]

Graysville Elementary School is located at 1029 West Roy Furman Highway, Graysville. In 2013, the School's enrollment was 268 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 47% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 14.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1.1% are identified as gifted.[98] Graysville Elementary School provides full day kindergarten.[99] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Graysville Elementary School reported an enrollment of 243 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 118 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. Graysville Elementary School provides full-day kindergarten. The school employed 24.5 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 9:1.[100] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[101]

2013 School Performance Profile

Graysville 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 68% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 76% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 76.8% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 77.78% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[102]

AYP history

In 2012, Graysville Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement. In 2011, Graysville Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[103] From 2004 through 2010, the School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress each school year. In 2003, Graysville Elementary School was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.

PSSA results
4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 88%, (0% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 86%, (2% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 80%, (9% below basic). State - 81%

Springhill-Freeport Elementary School[edit]

Springhill-Freeport Elementary School is located at 1055 Deep Valley Road, New Freeport. In 2013, the School's enrollment was just 88 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 59% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 20.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while no students were identified as gifted.[108] The school provides full day kindergarten.[109] Springhill-Freeport Elementary School is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Springhill-Freeport Elementary School reported an enrollment of 89 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 55 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. Springhill-Freeport Elementary School is a federally designated Title I school. The school provides full-day kindergarten.[110] The school employed 9 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 9:1.[111] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind Act.[112]

In 2012, Springhill-Freeport Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to low achievement in reading and mathematics. In 2011, the School achieved AYP status under No Child Left Behind.[113] The academic achievement at Springhill-Freeport Elementary School was in the lowest 15% among all schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Parents are entitled to move their children to another public school, including in another school district, to a charter school or to a local private school that will accept the students. They must pay tuition and can receive an Opportunity Scholarship Grant to defray costs of the tuition.[114]

2013 School Performance Profile

Springhill-Freeport Elementary School achieved a score of 68.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 56% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, just 63% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 61.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 50% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 66.5% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[115]

PSSA results
4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 93%, (0% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 88%, (6% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 60%, (15% below basic). State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2012, West Greene School District Administration reported that 148 pupils or 19.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 38.5% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2011, the district administration reported that 182 pupils or 22.6% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 37.4% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the District Administration reported that 205 pupils or 26% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[117]

The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. The initial evaluation shall be completed and a copy of the evaluation report shall be presented to the parents no later than 60 days after the school district receives written parental consent. Parents who think their child is a child with a disability may request, at any time, that the school district conduct an evaluation to determine if the child is eligible to receive special education and related services. This request must be made in writing to the district office.[118]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[119] 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.[120] 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.[121] 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.[122] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[123]

West Greene School District received a $663,003 supplement for special education services, in 2010.[124] For the 2011-12 through 2013-14 school year, 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 or its cost.[125] 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 17 or 2.06% of its students were gifted in 2010. The highest percentage of gifted students reported among all 500 school districts and 100 public charter schools in Pennsylvania was North Allegheny School District with 15.5% of its students identified as gifted.[126] 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.[127][128]

Governance[edit]

West Greene 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.[129] 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 School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[130]

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.[131]

Bullying policy[edit]

In 2009, West Greene School District Administration reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district.[132][133]

The West Greene School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty. The policy defines bullying and cyberbullying. The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying.[134] The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the District must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[135] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[136]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[137]

Wellness policy[edit]

The West Greene School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[138] 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, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[139] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to low-income children. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[140] Additionally, the District participates in local summer meals programs in the County.

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.[141]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in West Greene School District has risen to $55,126 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $28,958 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $84,084.[142] The District employed 97 teachers and administrators, with a top salary of $108,150.[143][144]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in West Greene School District was $51,328 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $27,647 per employee (one of the highest in the Commonwealth public school system), for a total annual average teacher compensation of $78,976.[145]

In 2008–09, West Greene School District employed over 96 teachers with a salary range of $34,150 to $56,975 .[146] The teachers work a 182-day schedule with 180 student instruction days. The school work day is 7.5 hours with a 30-minute duty-free lunch and a daily preparation period. The professional staff also receives a benefits package that includes: health insurance, life insurance, 10 paid sick days, reimbursement for college courses, 3 paid personal days and a defined benefit pension. Teachers receive a $15,000 cash bonus upon retirement and may remain on the school district's health plan funded by the taxpayers until they qualify for Medicare.[147]

In 2007, West Greene School District employed 80 teachers and the average teacher salary in the district was $48,775 for 180 days worked.[148]

Administration costs

West Greene School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1,042.31 per pupil. The District ranked 54th among Pennsylvania public schools for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[149] Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[150]

Reserves

In 2008, West Greene School District reported $3,354,042 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The unreserved-designated fund balance was reported as zero.[151] In 2010, West Greene Administration reported a decrease to $$2,234,201.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District reported zero in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. In 2013, the School Board reported $6,831,188 in reserves. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. By law the state limits the total unreserved-undesignated fund balance at 8% of the annual budget for school districts that have budgets over $19 million a year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[152]

In 2008, West Greene School District Administration reported that per pupil spending was $22,101, which ranked 6th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts.[153] In 2010, the District's per pupil spending was $20,052.73.[154] Among the 50 states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-2009.[155] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[156] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[157]

In August 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the West Greene School District. The findings were reported to the school board and administration.[158]

Tuition Students who live in the District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to West Greene 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 West Greene School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,738.89, High School - $11,307.94.[159]

West Greene School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[160] 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.[161] 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.[162]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, West Greene School District receives 30.5% of its annual revenue from the state.[163]

For the 2014-15 school year, West Green School District will receive $3,160,140 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $81,449 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.[164] 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.[165]

In the 2013-2014 school year, West Greene School District received $3,161,639 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding a 1% increase over prior funding. This is $32,344 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, West Greene School District received $52,075 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Greene County, Central Greene School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 1.6%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[166] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[167] As a part of the education budget, the state provided the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[168]

For the 2012-13 school year, the West Greene School District received $3,181,370.[169] 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. West Greene School District received $52,075. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[170] 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, West Greene School District received $3,129,295 in state Basic Education Funding.[171] Additionally, the district will receive $52,075 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011–2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010–2011.[172] In 2010, West Greene School District reported that 403 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty levels.

For the 2010–11 budget year, West Greene School District received just a 2% increase in state Basic Education Funding for a total of $3,259,804. The highest increase in Greene County 4.97% was given to the Central Greene School District. 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.[173] One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010-11. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[174]

For the 2009–2010 school budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.13% increase in Basic Education Funding to West Greene School District, for a total of $3,195,886.[175] Among the school districts in Greene County, the highest increase went to Southeastern Greene School District which got a 6.92%. 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.[176] The amount of increase each school district receives is set by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[177] 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.[178][179]

The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008–09 was $4,787,151.79. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 388 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[180]

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 the 2010–11 school year, the district applied for and received $141,344, in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for 52 pupils. This was the 5th year the full day program was offered.[181][182]

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 instructional use of the computers. The program was funded from 2006 to 2009. West Greene School District did not apply to participate in 2006–07 or in 2007–08. West Greene School District received $74,691 in 2008–09.[183] In Greene County the highest award was given to Southeastern Greene School District at $344,563. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's Education Assistance Program funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010–11, the school district received $64,593.[184]

Other grants[edit]

West Greene School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants, PA Science Its Elementary grants (The grant was discontinued in 2010 by Governor Rendell due to a massive state budget crisis), 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant; the 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[185] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $734,421 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[186] The funding is for the 2009–10 and 2010–2011 school years.[187]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

District officials applied for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement. Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[188] 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.[189]

School Improvement Grant[edit]

In the summer of 2011, the district administration did not apply for School Improvement Grant funding, from the federal government (over $9.9 million available). The High School was eligible for funding. The grant stipulates the funds be used for improving student achievement using one of four federally dictated strategies. The strategies are: transformation, turnaround, restart with new faculty and administration or closure of failing schools. Transformation calls for a change in faculty and administration evaluations, mandated training in proven teaching techniques and rigorous curriculum change that focuses on student achievement. The Pennsylvania Education Secretary awarded $66 Million to reform Pennsylvania's lowest-achieving schools.[190]

For 2010-11, West Greene School District did not apply for a School Improvement Grant. It was eligible for funding due to the chronic, low achievement at the high school and middle school.[191]

In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the federal department of education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were disbursed via a competitive grant program.[192] The Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding.[193] Pennsylvania required low performing schools to apply or provide documentation about why they had not applied. The funds must be used, by the district, to turn around schools in one of four ways: school closure, restart - close the school and reopen it as a charter school. The other two options involve firing the principal. One would require at least half the faculty in a chronically poor performing school be dismissed. The second involves intensive teacher training coupled with strong curriculum revision or a longer school day.[194]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Central Greene School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[195] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2014–15 were set, by the West Greene School Board, at 19.5000 mills.[196] 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. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and all government property (local, state and federal). Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes.

On the local level, Pennsylvania 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.[197] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[198] 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.[199]

The average yearly property tax paid by Greene County residents amounts to about 2.77% of their yearly income. Greene County ranked 746th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[209] 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.[210] 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%).[211]

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.[212]

In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[213] 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.[214][215]

The School District Adjusted Index for the West Greene School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.[216]

For the 2013-14 budget year, West Greene School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2013-2014, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 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 the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[219]

For the 2012-13 budget year, West Greene 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.[220]

For the 2011-12 school year the West Greene School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index.[221] 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 publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[222]

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.[223]

The West Greene School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[224] In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.[225]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the West Greene School District was $84 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 1,350 property owners applied for the tax relief.[226] 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 Greene County, 37% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[227] In Greene County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to property owners in Central Greene School District. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[228] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

  • 2009 – $87 for 1,300 properties.
  • 2008 – $105 for 1,075 properties.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently, individual with income much more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.[229]

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%).[230]

Extracurriculars[edit]

West Greene School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by West Greene School Board policy and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League governance policies. Additionally, coaches are permitted to establish additional rules and regulations, outside of those outlined by: the NFHS, PIAA, WPIAL and those approved by the West Greene Board of Education with the approval of the Athletic Director and the Principal for their respective sports.[231]

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.[232]

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.[233][234]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[235]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [236]

References[edit]

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