West York Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms with no compensation), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 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 its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills. The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regrading renewal of the employment contract.
The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review accessed on May 20, 2010 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 prior to that date for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more. Comment posted 11/2/2014 - "The web site has undergone considerable changes as have most web pages and much of the information that was listed as missing is now there. This "F' grade is no longer a valid measure and should be ignored. It would be incumbent on the Commonwealth Foundation to retract comments based on this document - which cannot be found on the web."
West York Area School District was ranked 253rd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2013 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by the PSSA results on: reading, writing, math and science. The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.2012 - 244th
2011 - 245th
2010 - 227th
2009 – 230th
2008 – 243rd
2007 – 309th of 500 school districts in Pennsylvania.
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. West York Area School District ranked 291st. 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."2011 - 206th
2010 - 256th
2009 - 346th
In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of West York Area School District was in the 59th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale – (0–99; 100 is state best) Taken as a whole, the academic achievement of the district's students ranked 8th out of York County's 16 public school districts.
In 2012, West York Area School District declined to Warning AYP status due to low graduation rate and low student achievement in reading and mathematics. In 2011, 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. West York 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.
In 2013, the graduation rate at West York Area School District increased to 94.74%. In 2012, the graduation rate at West York Area School District was 88%. In 2011, the graduation rate was 95%. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. West York Area High School's rate was 89% for 2010.According to traditional graduation rate calculations
2010 – 92%
2009 – 92%
2008 – 91%
2007 – 91%
West York Area High School is located at 1800 Bannister Street, York. In 2013, West York High School's enrollment was 900 pupils in 9th through 12th grades. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 952 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 255 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 71 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.2013 School Performance Profile
West York Area High School achieved 89.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 84% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 82% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 44% showed on grade level science understanding. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.AYP History
In 2012, West York Area High School declined to Warning AYP status due to low reading and mathematics scores of 11th graders. In 2010 and 2010 the school achieved AYP status.PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
2012 - 66% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
2011 - 76% (12% below basic). State - 69.1%
2010 – 67% (15% below basic). State - 68%
2009 – 74%, State – 65%
2008 – 69%, State – 65%
2007 – 73%, State – 65.4%
11th Grade Math
2012 - 65% on grade level (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
2011 - 70% (14% below basic). State - 60.3%
2010 – 58% (28% below basic). State - 59%
2009 – 59%, State – 56%
2008 – 48%, State – 56%
2007 – 55%, State – 53%
11th Grade Science
2012 - 40% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2011 - 49% (12% below basic). State - 40%
2010 – 45% (11% below basic). State – 39%
2009 – 42%, State – 40%
2008 – 41%, State – 39%
2007 – Tested, The state did not make the results public.
Science in Motion West York 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. Gettysburg College provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.
The West York Area School Board has set that a minimum of 28.5 credits, including English 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Math 4 Credits, Science 3 credits, Arts/Humanities 3 credits, Physical Education 2 credits, Health 1 credit, Parenting 0.5 credit and other credits.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
In 2013, West York Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 488. The Math average score was 500. 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.
In 2012, 155 West York Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 491. The Math average score was 502. The Writing average score was 469. 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, 135 West York Area School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 475. The Math average score was 481. The Writing average score was 447. Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479. 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.
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 34% of West York 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. 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. 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.
The West York Area 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, including the graduation ceremony. 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. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions. West York Area School District students can attend the Penn State University/York, York College of PA, and Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC)/York Campus.
For the 2009–10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $5,684 for the program. In 2010, the district received $2,611 for the program.
In 2013, West York Area 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 higher education institutions also give credits for scores of 3. The High School gives credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class with added weight for class ranking.
West York Area Middle School is located at 1700 Bannister Street, York. In 2013, enrollment in the school had declined to 706 pupils. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 797 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 257 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 53 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind. Two core teams of teachers exist at each grade level. In addition to the core subjects, students participate in an exploratory curriculum including Wellness, Technology Education, Computer Education, Art, Music, Family and Consumer Science and Exploratory Reading. Courses in Spanish, German, and French are offered in eighth grade.2013 School Performance Profile
West York Area Middle School achieved 70.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 72% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, 82% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 52% of the 8th graders demonstrated n grade level understanding. In writing, 67% of the 8th grade students were on grade level.AYP history
In 2011 and 2012, West York Area Middle School was in "Warning" Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to ongoing low reading achievement. In 2009 and 2010, the West York Area Middle School achieved AYP status. The attendance rate was 95% in both years.Eighth Grade Reading:
2012 - 80% on grade level (9% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.
2011 - 81% (11% below basic). State - 81.8%
2010 – 86% (8% below basic). State -81%
2009 – 79%, State – 80%
2008 – 83%, State – 78%
Eighth Grade Math:
2012 - 83% on grade level (8% below basic). State - 76%
2011 - 72% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 76.9%
2010 – 83% (9% below basic). State - 75%
2009 – 74%, State – 71%
2008 – 80%, State – 70%
Eighth Grade Science:
2012 - 52% on grade level (29% below basic). State - 59%
2011 - 40% (39% below basic). State – 58.3%
2010 – 48% (34% below basic). State – 57%
2009 – 42%, State – 55%.
2008 – 55%, State – 52%
Lincolnway Elementary School is located at 2625 West Philadelphia Street, York. Enrollment in 2013 was 535 pupils in grades 2nd through 5th. Fifty-five percent of the pupils were from low income homes and 12.7% received special education services. The school is a federally designated Title I school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the enrollment was 484 pupils. The school employed 31 teachers yielding a student:teacher ratio of 15:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind.2013 School Performance Profile
Lincolnway Elementary School achieved a score of 84 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 67.6% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 70% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 87% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 79% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 77% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.AYP history
Lincolnway Elementary School achieved AYP status every year from 2003 to 2012.PSSA results
Loucks Elementary School is located at 1381 W Poplar Street, York. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 238 pupils with 48% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. 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 both half day kindergarten and full day kindergarten and first grade. The school is a federally designated Title I school. In 2011, the school employed 16 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 15:1. In Pennsylvania, kindergarten and first grades do not take PSSA exams.
Trimmer Elementary School is located at. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 392 pupils with 22% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. The school provides grades 2nd through 5th. 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 is not a federally designated Title I school. In 2011, Trimmer Elementary School had 422 pupils. It employed 29 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 14:1. In Pennsylvania, second graders do not take PSSA exams.2013 School Performance Profile
Trimmer Elementary School achieved a score of 91.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 88% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 89% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 97% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 85% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.AYP history
Trimmer Elementary School achieved AYP status each year from 2003 through 2012, except 2006 when the school was in Warning AYP status due to lagging reading achievement.
Wallace Elementary School is located at 2065 High Street, York. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 191 pupils with 27% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. 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 both half day kindergarten and full day kindergarten, as well as, first grade. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. In 2011, enrollment was 245 pupils. The school employed 12 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 19:1.
In 2009, the administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the district.
The School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty. The board policy 249 Bullying/Cyberbullying 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. 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. 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.
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.
In December 2011, West York Area School District administration reported that 466 pupils or 14.3% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 48% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 450 pupils or 14% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.
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. When a child experiences difficulty within the classroom, screening information will be gathered by the team located within the child’s school to determine his or her specific needs. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible make a written request for a multidisciplinary evaluation to the building principal or the Director of Special Education.
In 2010, the Commonwealth 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. 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. 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. 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. In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.
The West York Area School District received a $1,410,539 supplement for special education services in 2010. For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school years, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required. Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.
The West York Area School District Administration reported that less than 119 or 3.71% of its students were gifted in 2009. 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. Through the strategic planning process, the Superintendent must ensure that West York Area School District provides a continuum of program and service options to meet the needs of all mentally gifted students for enrichment, acceleration, or both.
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.
In 2012, the average teacher salary in West York Area School District was $62,770 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $17,652 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $80,422. In 2012, West York Area School District employed 252 teachers and administrators, with the average salary of $65,189. The highest administrator salary was $165,923. The highest teacher salary was $105,000.
In 2011, the average teacher salary in West York Area School District was $57,508 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $15,805 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $73,313. The highest salary paid by the Districts was $165,000. One classroom teacher was paid $105,000.
In 2009, West York Area School District reported employing over 250 teachers with a salary range of $44,000 to $117,000. The average salary in the district is $59,209. Additionally, the district's teachers receive: a defined benefit pension, health insurance, life insurance, college credit reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, sick days, 4 paid bereavement days, a retirement incentive bonus and other benefits. As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.
Per pupil spending West York Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $691 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent for the 2007–08 school year was $122,165. In 2008 the superintendent's salary was $116,300. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.
Reserves In 2008, West York Area School District reported a zero balance in an unreserved-undesignated fund. The designated fund balance was reported as $1,996,613. In 2010, the reserves were an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $14,937,949. In 2012, the reserves were $13,564,637. 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. In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion. By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.
Per pupil spending West York Area School District Administration reported that per pupil spending in 2008 was $11,703 which ranked 311th in the state' 501 school districts. In 2010 the per pupil spending had increased to $13,515.46. Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09. In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.
Audit In December 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board. Mismanagement of transportation data was reported.
APA study According to an extensive study of York County school districts conducted by APA Associates in 2008, West York Area School District achieved a +8 rating based on Performance and Relative Efficiency. Central York School District and Northeastern York School District ranked +10. Eleven of 16 York County districts achieved a positive rating.
Tuition Students who live in West York 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 West York 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 West York Area School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,295.42, High School - $8,306.20.
West York Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. 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. 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.
For the 2013-14 school year, the West York Area School District received a 6.7% increase or $5,487,642 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $345,551 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, West York Area School District received $133,104 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in York County, York City School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 12.3%. 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. 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.
For the 2012-13 school year, West York Area School District received $5,275,195. 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 York Area School District received $133,104 in ABG 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.
In the 2011–12 school year, West York Area School District received $5,141,076 in state Basic Education Funding. Additionally, West York Area School District received $133,105 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. 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. Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.
In 2010, West York Area School District reported that 1,009 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.
For the 2010–11 budget year, the West York Area School District received a 6.73% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,560,322. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in York County was 8.39% which was awarded to Hanover Public School District. Among all Pennsylvania school districts, the highest increase in 2010–11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District located in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding. The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.
In the 2009–10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided West York Area School District a 9.06% increase in Basic Education Funding, for a total of $5,209,849. Four school districts in York County received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding for the 2009–10 school year. The highest increase was awarded to Central York School District which received 12.54% in 2009. In York County, 12 school districts received a less than 6% increase in state basic education funding in 2009 and three districts received the base 2% increase. Ninety school districts in the commonwealth were given the base 2% increase. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.
In 2008=09, the West York Area School District received $4,777,082 in state basic education funding. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 851 students, in the district, received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.
Beginning in 2004–05, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010–11 the West York Area School District applied for and received $361,279 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 4th year, to provide preschool, to provide extra assistance to struggling students, to pay teachers to write new curriculum.
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. West York Area School District never applied to participate Fifty school districts in Pennsylvania did not apply to get the computers, software and special targeted training. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards
West York Area School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants, PA Science Its Elementary grants, Education Assistance Grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, 2012 and 2013 nor Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants, nor the 21st Century Learning grants.
West York Area School District received an extra $841,189 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years. Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised by the Pennsylvania Department of education and the US Department of Education 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.
West York Area School District officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the district would have received millions in additional federal dollars for improving 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. Six York County school districts applied to participate. Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.
The West York Area School Board decided 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. After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.
Property tax rates in 2013-14 were set by the West York School Board at 20.6731 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. 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. 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. 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.
The average yearly property tax paid by York County residents amounts to about 4.01% of their yearly income. York County ranked 232nd of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income. 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. 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%).
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. With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly voted to repeal most of the Act 1 exceptions leaving only special education costs, prior voted approved debt and pension costs. The cost of construction projects will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum unless the district's reserves cover the costs.
The School District Adjusted Index for the West York Area School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.
For the 2013-14 budget year, West York Area 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.
For the 2012-13 budget year, West York 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 2011–12 school year, the West York Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index, including Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue and Teacher Pension Obligations. Each year the West York Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
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.
The West York Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011. 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.
In 2013, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the West York Area School District was $170 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 6,249 property owners applied for the tax relief. The increase was due to the decline in the number of approved homesteads in the district. In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the West York Area School District was $164 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 6,442 property owners applied for the tax relief. In 2009, West York Area School District's property tax relief amount was set at $165 to 6,405 approved homestead owners. In 2010 within York County, the highest amount went to York City School District set at $495 per approved homestead. The property tax 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. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $641 per homestead and farmstead in 2010. CUSD was given $632 in 2009. This was the second year they were the top recipient.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently individuals who have income substantially greater 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.
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%).
West York School District's students have access to a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. West York School District spent $57,374 for the transportation of sports teams in 2011-12. Countywide nearly $1 million was spent on transporting public school sports teams. The total sports budget for the District in 2010-11 was $271,400. Collectively, York County public schools spent over $9 million on sports budgets (does not include facility costs) in 2011-12. In 2013-14, the District Administration reported spending $891,700 on student activities, excluding transportation costs and facility costs.
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.
The District funds:Middle School Sports
According to PIAA directory July 2012