Sharon City School District - Budget

Budget

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 First.

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 (Spring Primary election). 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 2011, the average teacher salary in Sharon City School District was $54,987 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $19,330 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $74,317.

In 2009, the Sharon City School District reported employing 179 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $56,530 and a top salary of $113,500. The teacher’s work day is 8.5 hours with a 30 minute duty free lunch and a daily preparation period. There are 186 days in the teacher contract year. Additionally, the teachers receive: a defined benefit pension; health insurance, professional development reimbursement; 3 paid personal days; 10 paid sick days which accumulate; paid funeral leave; and other benefits. Sharon City School District pays a $400 bonus to teachers who do not use a single sick day in a school year.

Superintendent Mr. John Sarandrea's contract was terminated in June 2013, by the Sharon City School Board. The original contract was through June 30, 2014, with Mr Sarandrea's salary frozen for 3 years at $117,000. Sharon City School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $612.96 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union. According to PSBA, the median Superintendent salary rose to over $130,000 in 2011.

In 2008, the Sharon City School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $10,745 which ranked 418th among Pennsylvania's then 501 public school districts. By 2010, the District’s per pupil spending had increased to $13,185.09. In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States. In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year year 2000-01.

Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09. Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.

Reserves In 2013, Sharon City School District reported $8,125,000 in its designated fund. There was $1,882, 862 in the undesignated-unreserved fund for a total of $10,007,862 in reserves. In 2008, Sharon City School District reported a balance of $4,073,000, in its unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $1,735,938. In 2010, Sharon City School District Administration reported $1,716,051 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District also reported $7,273,315 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010 for total reserves of $8,989,366. 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. By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.

In April of 2013, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the District. The multiple serious findings were reported to the Sharon City School Board and the District’s administration.

Tuition Students who live in the Sharon City 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 Sharon City 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 Sharon City School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $7,992.87, High School - $9,110.96.

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

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