Did you know

Did you know………

  • South Western School District (SWSD) is part of the LIU Joint Purchasing Board – a group of 25 school district covering York, Adams and Franklin Counties.  This organization bids out supplies for all districts increasing quantities, achieving economies of scale and effectively lowering unit pricing.  This has provided savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars to local school districts.
  • SWSD has the lowest equalized millage tax rate in York and Adams County.  The Equalized Mill is the calculation performed by the state to determine the total taxing effort.
  • SWSD charges tuition for students to attend our district that do not live in our district.  For the 2010-11 school year, the annual tuition fees are: $4,410 for ½ day Kindergarten, $8,820 for elementary students (K – Grade 6), and $9,000 for secondary students (Grade 7 – 12).
  • SWSD must pay tuition to charter schools and cyber charter schools for our students who attend there.  The tuition cost for 2010-11 is $9,042.88 for regular education students and $17,228.34 for special education students.  The total impact to our budget is approximately $850,000 a year ($805,066.70 in 2009-10).
  • SWSD received approximately $8,852,000 in Basic Education Funding from the State for our 4,200 students.  That equates to a funding level of $2,108 per student.
  • SWSD is a member of the Lincoln Benefit Trust – a consortium of 20 school districts and technical schools organized to achieve significant cost savings by self-insuring health care benefits.  Savings are derived three ways, the plans are administered by Highmark Blue Shield so we take advantage of their network savings, we pay only the actual costs of the services plus the admin fee for processing the claims and we don’t have to pay for a profit margin of 10% – 15% to an insurance company.
  • SWSD must comply with several federal and state mandates which can have a significant cost impact and for which we receive little (underfunded mandates) to no funding (unfunded mandates).
  • SWSD must pay prevailing wages (union wages paid in Philadelphia or Harrisburg) for all construction or maintenance work performed costing over $25,000, regardless what the contractor would normally pay their workers.  This state mandate adds 15% – 30% or more to the costs of these projects.
  • SWSD reduced the budget allocation amounts for buildings and programs by 20% for 2010-11 budget and by another 5% for the 2011-12 budget.
  • SWSD receives approximately $454,000 or less than 1% (0.88%) in federal revenues.
  • SWSD will receive approximately $15.1 million in state funds for the 2011-12 budget.  That is 29.3% of our total revenues.  The State Constitution calls for the state to share in the cost of providing education services.  In the early 1970’s, the state funding was approximately 50% of our total cost.  That figure of support has been declining ever since.
  • SWSD participates in a consortium with other districts to purchase our natural gas as a commodity on the spot market.  In fact, the district has already locked in our purchase of natural gas supplies through April of 2013 at very low rates.
  • SWSD participates with several other York County school districts and many Lancaster/Lebanon County school districts in an electric purchasing consortium.  Like natural gas, we are purchasing the electric as a commodity on the spot market in an effort to lower our costs and to hopefully offset any cost increase brought on by electric deregulation.
  • SWSD recently began using a mail service provider like many businesses in the Hanover/York region for processing our mail.  As a result of the service, we save approximately $0.023 for each piece of regular mail handled in this manner.
  • Under Act 1, school districts are limited to the amount of real estate tax increase they can levy before they are required to seek voter approval of the tax increase through a referendum.  The limit is called the “Index” and is a combination of the percent increase in the PA Statewide Average Weekly Wage (S.A.W.W.) and the Employment Cost index for Elementary and Secondary schools (E.C.I.).
  • SWSD’s proposed tax increase of 0.27 mills reflects a 1.66% increase and is below the PDE approved Index of 1.7%.  This increase will cost the average home owner (assessed value of $145,522) in our district $39.29.
  • School Board members are the only locally elected public officials in Pennsylvania that do not get paid and do not receive benefits.
  • School districts are not required to provide transportation.
  • School districts that provide transportation for public school students are required to provide transportation to non-public or parochial students that attend school both within the district and to schools that are located within ten (10) miles of the school district’s boundary, even if the school is located in another state.
  • SWSD has a fund balance of $5,850,061 as of June 30, 2010.  The fund balance is the cumulated differences between the revenues and the expenditures.  In 2009-10, the district spent $49,744,330 or approximately $4,145,361 per month.  Our fund balance represents less than 1.5 months of expenditures.
  • SWSD’s total Athletic budget ($561,340) is approximately 1% of the total budget ($54,493,489).
  • SWSD has a Capital Reserve Fund.  This fund is used to pay for maintenance and repair projects that are sizeable and that would put considerable strain on our General Fund.  Each year, the equivalent of 0.24 mills is transferred into the Capital Reserve Fund from the General Fund for those expenditures.
  • The total cost to educate a student from Kindergarten to 12th Grade that graduated in 2009 was $77,138.90.  For those of you with children in school, your property taxes are a real bargain.
  • The Governor’s proposed 2011-12 budget decreases state funding for SWSD by $1.7 million.  This loss of subsidy funding comes from three areas: a reduction in the Basic Education Funding of ($939,998); the elimination of the Accountability Block Grants ($577,562) and the elimination of Charter School Funding ($184,860).
  • SWSD is looking at bringing back classes from the Lincoln Intermediate Unit for the potential cost savings.
  • SWSD has started to provide our own transportation of special needs students to LIU classes in order to save money.
  • School district employees contribute 7.5% of their paycheck into the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).
  • SWSD employees contribute $1,300 or approximately 8.5% of their health care cost annually for family coverage, $1,170 or approximately 9.0% of their health care cost annually for two-party coverage and $585 or approximately 10.8% of their health care cost annually for single coverage.

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