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Old 02-13-2019, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Chambersburg, PA
199 posts, read 101,759 times
Reputation: 114

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Jane Higdon worked and lived in Maryland for decades. She spent 33 years in education, much of that time as a high school English and special education teacher.

Then she moved north, to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She wanted to be closer to her grandchildren.

And she noticed something.

Each of Maryland’s 23 counties and the city of Baltimore have one school district with one superintendent or CEO at the top.

But in Lancaster County alone, there are 17 school districts — each with its own superintendent who had a salary above $100,000 last year.

https://papost.org/2019/02/13/why-ar...-four-reasons/
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
409 posts, read 224,973 times
Reputation: 433
That article has it backwards. You'll see here that Maryland has the 4th-largest school districts in the country, by average enrollment (behind two anomalies: Hawaii and DC). PA on the other hand, ranks 27th.

PA isn't the outlier; Maryland is.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
19,689 posts, read 12,062,326 times
Reputation: 34191
not sure about the southern, more populated part of the state but in the less populated, school districts are thinned out about as much as they can be.

As it is, some students spend over an hour riding a bus to school and back.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
30,371 posts, read 13,304,819 times
Reputation: 22320
I am very much for small government and local, home rule. I can go to a school board, or township meeting and have my voice heard. Not as much in Harrisburg, and certainly not in D.C. Smaller school districts are better.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:31 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
36,662 posts, read 47,428,838 times
Reputation: 47630
I grew up in PA and taught in MD. The political structure here is very southern in design with the main form of local government being the county. School systems mirror that.

You might get rid of superintendents but the follow on bureaucracy in a county system is impenetrable.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:03 PM
 
12,922 posts, read 29,926,039 times
Reputation: 7571
I can see the point of larger districts, but not county systems. As it is, our districts do use a lot of shared services like the Intermediate Units, Career and Tech Schools and consortiums for purchasing everything from health care for teachers and staff to energy.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:36 PM
Status: "Bricks" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Philadelphia
2,031 posts, read 1,140,552 times
Reputation: 2044
This is a touchy subject.

And worth some thinking about.

Pennsylvania has more school districts. But also ranks higher in school performance than Maryland. Pennsylvania has some of the highest rated school districts in the nation, and is always considered a top 5 state for public education.

Teachers salary range from 60k - 100k+ depending on district.

So in terms of design outcome, Pennsylvania's current system seems to be winning.

I have zero idea what Maryland property taxes are but I allude they are a bit more forgiving than Pennsylvania, although we are not the highest. NY, NJ, CT and MA I believe take the cake on that.

Pennsylvania definitely needs to get more creative with the consolidation of services at the very least with our local municipalities. Local governments and school districts in more rural districts have begun to do this in painfully slow ways.

I am not for county wide school districts, but I am most definitely for consolidation of townships into larger population zones.

I think the state in the future could offer a policy initiative to encourage school districts to consolidate. Any successful legislation in Pennsylvania though must be an opt in legislative model in terms of local government. Mandation is not a style Pennsylvania really takes well. For better. For worst.

Many of the rural districts are seeing this beneficial and the only way to stay financially stable.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:46 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
36,662 posts, read 47,428,838 times
Reputation: 47630
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
This is a touchy subject.

And worth some thinking about.

Pennsylvania has more school districts. But also ranks higher in school performance than Maryland. Pennsylvania has some of the highest rated school districts in the nation, and is always considered a top 5 state for public education.

Teachers salary range from 60k - 100k+ depending on district.

So in terms of design outcome, Pennsylvania's current system seems to be winning.

I have zero idea what Maryland property taxes are but I allude they are a bit more forgiving than Pennsylvania, although we are not the highest. NY, NJ, CT and MA I believe take the cake on that.

Pennsylvania definitely needs to get more creative with the consolidation of services at the very least with our local municipalities. Local governments and school districts in more rural districts have begun to do this in painfully slow ways.

I am not for county wide school districts, but I am most definitely for consolidation of townships into larger population zones.

I think the state in the future could offer a policy initiative to encourage school districts to consolidate. Any successful legislation in Pennsylvania though must be an opt in legislative model in terms of local government. Mandation is not a style Pennsylvania really takes well. For better. For worst.

Many of the rural districts are seeing this beneficial and the only way to stay financially stable.
Actually you're incorrect, Maryland ranks higher than Pennsylvania in every measure, here's one that's the most commonly accepted:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemo.../#3e3495953897

Maryland has dropped from 2/3 the last few years.

Pennsylvania school systems have been consolidating services for 50 years (the last big consolidation of school systems was about 1960 when the current 500 were created from something like 1500 previous ones), a couple of those were already mentioned.

One of the issues PA has is that the PA Department of Education can't really force school systems to do much. Maryland has a top down system and when MSDE says jump most of the school systems, especially the crappier ones, ask how high. Curriculum is standardized statewide as is the testing schedule and requirements for benchmark testing.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,092 posts, read 4,449,396 times
Reputation: 1553
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
This is a touchy subject.

And worth some thinking about.

Pennsylvania has more school districts. But also ranks higher in school performance than Maryland. Pennsylvania has some of the highest rated school districts in the nation, and is always considered a top 5 state for public education.

Teachers salary range from 60k - 100k+ depending on district.

So in terms of design outcome, Pennsylvania's current system seems to be winning.

I have zero idea what Maryland property taxes are but I allude they are a bit more forgiving than Pennsylvania, although we are not the highest. NY, NJ, CT and MA I believe take the cake on that.

Pennsylvania definitely needs to get more creative with the consolidation of services at the very least with our local municipalities. Local governments and school districts in more rural districts have begun to do this in painfully slow ways.

I am not for county wide school districts, but I am most definitely for consolidation of townships into larger population zones.

I think the state in the future could offer a policy initiative to encourage school districts to consolidate. Any successful legislation in Pennsylvania though must be an opt in legislative model in terms of local government. Mandation is not a style Pennsylvania really takes well. For better. For worst.

Many of the rural districts are seeing this beneficial and the only way to stay financially stable.
Maryland does have lower property taxes, in general, vs. PA, but the state income tax is much higher. The MD rate is about 4-5% plus there’s local rates of about 1.75%-2.75%. MD allows certain deductions that PA does not but the rates are way higher. PA gets you one way, MD another.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:13 AM
 
Location: New York City
7,212 posts, read 6,298,669 times
Reputation: 4279
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Actually you're incorrect, Maryland ranks higher than Pennsylvania in every measure, here's one that's the most commonly accepted:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemo.../#3e3495953897

Maryland has dropped from 2/3 the last few years.

Pennsylvania school systems have been consolidating services for 50 years (the last big consolidation of school systems was about 1960 when the current 500 were created from something like 1500 previous ones), a couple of those were already mentioned.

One of the issues PA has is that the PA Department of Education can't really force school systems to do much. Maryland has a top down system and when MSDE says jump most of the school systems, especially the crappier ones, ask how high. Curriculum is standardized statewide as is the testing schedule and requirements for benchmark testing.
That is true. That particular poster gets a little carried away sometimes with their pro PA viewpoints.

PA is a much larger state with a lot more economic variances compared to Maryland. While the public schools in Southeastern PA might be the best in the nation, that won't matter on a statewide ranking if Northern PA and Western PA are below average.

That being said, PA public school system finishes in the middle of the pack in most metrics. However, the SEPA enclave (Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Bucks) have several nationally ranked districts.

And part of the the reason PA has a lot of school districts is due to the commonwealths designation of townships, boroughs, municipalities and zip-code coverage. Its a confusing system with mixed results. It works out tremendously for the upper middle class and wealthy areas of PA, but doesn't work out well for poor districts.

You have Radnor School District (one of the wealthiest top performing in the nation), and Chester-Upland one of the poorest and lowest performing in the nation a mere 20 minutes from each other, in the same county.

That being said, I think PA's district setup is smart, but the lack of funding for poor districts is a clear deterrent for those poor districts to improve. PA has always been a very polarized state when it comes to demographics, income, crime, schools, etc. But that will lead us off topic.
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