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Union School District
Address
354 Baker Street, Suite 2
Rimersburg, Pennsylvania, Clarion, 16248
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Larry Bornak
Specialist Kris W. Glosser, School Psycologist
Administrator Geri Nasser, Supervisor of Special Education
Principal Stephen Shutters, HS
Principal Jean McCleary, RES and SES
Grades K-12
Enrollment 651
Kindergarten 43
Grade 1 52
Grade 2 27
Grade 3 43
Grade 4 42
Grade 5 38
Grade 6 57
Grade 7 52
Grade 8 66
Grade 9 60
Grade 10 51
Grade 11 63
Grade 12 57
Other Enrollment to decline by 100 more by 2019
Color(s) Gold and Blue
Mascot Knights and Damsels
Website

The Union School District is a public school district in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. It serves the boroughs of Sligo and Rimersburg, as well as the townships of Madison, Toby, and Piney. It features three schools: Sligo Elementary (K-3), Rimersburg Elementary (4-6), and Union Jr/Sr High (7-12). The district is part of the Riverview Intermediate Unit 6 region. The Riverside Intermediate Unit provides support services and therapy to special education students. It also provides training to school personnel. Occupational training and adult education in various vocational and technical fields are provided by the Clarion County Career Center.

Contents

Enrollment

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, there are fewer than 650 students enrolled in K-12. The senior class of 2010 has 57 students. Enrollment in Union School District is projected to continue to decline by 100 more students by 2019. The administrative infrastructure and mandate costs per pupil are high. With limited local taxation resources, opportunities for students are limited. Consolidation with adjacent school districts would achieve substantial administrative cost savings for people in each community. These excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging student achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to substantially reduce property taxes. Consolidation of the central administrations, into one district, does not require the closing of any schools. [1] A new district composed of Union School District, Keystone School District and adding Perry Township and Richland Township would have a student population under 2000 pupils. Consolidation would bring the elimination of costly administrator positions. This would assist the residents of the districts with rising pension costs by controlling the need to raise taxes.

Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[2] As the enrollment declines, per pupil administrative costs of the schools will continue to rise.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[3] This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[4] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools. [5]

Academic Achievement

Graduation Rate:
2009 - 72%[6]
2008 - 82%

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
2009 - 59% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 65% of 11th graders on grade level.
2008 - 60%

11th Grade Math:
2009 - 49% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 56% of 11th graders are on grade level.[7]
2008 - 37%

11th Grade Science:
2009 - 24% on grade level. State: 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 31%

Union School District was ranked 455th out of the 498 ranked Pennsylvania School Districts in 2008 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic performance as demonstrated in 3 years of PSSA results.[8]

College remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 41% of Union 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. [9]

Budget

In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.12% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $5,521,321. This was among the lowest increases, in Basic Education Funding, that school districts in Clarion County received. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $5,406,523.65.

The district received $869,280 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low income students.[10]

School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[11] The administration, school board and teachers' union prioritized local control over free resources to improve student success. A substantial property tax increase will be needed to make up for the rejected funding.

The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.

The Pennsylvania Auditor General regularly audits the school district. The reports are public information and are posted online.[12]

Extracurriculars

Union School District offers students a variety of clubs, activities and sports. By district policy, Students who choose to participate must submit to random drup testing on demand.

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. [13]

References:

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Public School District Enrollments Projected P - Y 2008-09
  2. ^ "Research Analyzes Rural School District Enrollment and Building Capacity", The Center for Rural Pennsylvania. October 2009
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Study of the Cost Effectiveness of Consolidating Pennsylvania School Districts, 2007.
  4. ^ Rendell, E. & Soderberg, M. (2009). Pennsylvania school district consolidation. 2009-10 Executive Budget Fast Facts. Pennsylvania Office of the Governor.
  5. ^ Study of the cost-effectiveness of consolidating Pennsylvania districts. New York: Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services. 2007, p. 6.
  6. ^ Union School District Report Card 2009 http://paayp.emetric.net/District/Overview/c16/106169003
  7. ^ 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/school_assessments/7442
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007.
  9. ^ Pennsylvania College Remediation Report http://www.scribd.com/doc/23970364/Pennsylvania-College-Remediation-Report
  10. ^ Clarion County ARRA FUNDING
  11. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=7201&PageID=510952&mode=2&contentid=http://pubcontent.state.pa.us/publishedcontent/publish/global/news_releases/governor_s_office/news_releases/pennsylvania_s__race_to_the_top__fueled_by_effective_reforms__strong_local_support.html
  12. ^ Clarion County School District Audits
  13. ^ Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005
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