- More than 70 percent of districts plan to raise local property taxes, and nearly 80 percent of these indicate that the increases will hit or exceed the Act 1 index.
- Forty-one percent of districts will reduce their staffing (beyond the 33,000 jobs in education already lost over the last four years).
- Nearly one-quarter of all districts, and 29 percent of the poorest districts, will reduce or eliminate valuable programs.
School districts desperate to retain students say taking a personal approach can help draw families back into public schools. Leaders in Gateway and Penn Hills school districts announced plans this year to interview families leaving their districts for charter schools, a shift from previous efforts to market the districts through commercials and print advertisements. “I think that when districts have reached out to students who have left traditional public schools for charter schools and worked with them to try to bring them back, they've had a great deal of success,” said Steve Robinson, spokesman for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. For other districts hard hit by students leaving for charters, the practice of contacting families is now standard. Charter schools — self-managed, taxpayer-funded schools that are approved by local school districts — came into the Pittsburgh area in the mid-2000s, and there are now 20 brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools in Allegheny County according to the state Department of Education.
PSBA July 7, 2015