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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 18-2010



Annual Certification Under Section 7201-B(e) of the Tax Reform Code

[48 Pa.B. 7949]
[Saturday, December 29, 2018]

December 11, 2018

William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D.
School District of Philadelphia
440 North Broad Street, Suite 301
Philadelphia, PA 19130

 I am writing pursuant to Section 7201-B(e) of the Tax Reform Code, Act 52 of 2013, 72 P.S. § 7201-B(e), which provides that a city of the first class may impose a one percent sales and use tax that may be used by a school district of the first class in an amount up to $120,000,000. Effective July 1, 2014, the City of Philadelphia imposed this additional sales and use tax. However, the use of these funds by the School District of Philadelphia (''District'') must be authorized by the Secretary of Education.

 Pursuant to Section 7201-B(e)(1), as Secretary of Education, I must consider whether ''the school district. . .began implementation of reforms that provide for [the District's] fiscal stability, educational improvement and operational control.''

 According to the District, it has utilized new funding from the City of Philadelphia to build on previous investments, including:

 • Eliminating all 1st/2nd grade split classrooms, resulting in reduced class size;

 • Expanding early literacy work for grades 4 and 5;

 • Modernizing classrooms for over 150 elementary classrooms in 11 schools to support literacy;

 • Hiring 30 additional ESOL teachers to support ELL students;

 • Hiring 10 additional special education emotional support programs and seven additional vocational special education teachers;

 • Increasing arts and music funds to increase the number of itinerant music teachers and fund art and music supplies;

 • Increasing financial support for the lowest-performing schools;

 • Increasing support for credit recovery and grade enhancement for high school students.

 The District is also implementing the following new programs and initiatives aimed at increasing the range and quality of educational options available to students, including:

 • Improving Literacy: Almost 1,700 more K-2 students are reading on grade level as measured by the spring 2018 Aimsweb assessment, representing a 3 percentage-point increase from the prior year; reduced the percent of student scoring Below Basic on the PSSA 3rd grade ELA assessment by 5 percentage points in 2018 compared to the prior year.

 • School Progress Report: More than half of District schools saw an increase in overall SPR score; 49 district schools went up an overall SPR tier; 13 more District schools are in the top two performance tiers than last year; 89 district schools and 42 charter schools saw an increase in their progress score.

 • Career and College Readiness: Over 60% of District high schools saw an increase in SPR College and Career Readiness score; more first-time 9th graders completed their first year of high school on track to graduate in four years.

 • School Climate: Almost one-third of District schools saw an increase in SPR climate scores; improved the percentage of students attending 95% or more of instructional days; fewer students received an out-of-school suspension.

 The District has also reported that additional steps have been taken to improve operational controls and to maintain fiscal stability, including that it projects to end the fiscal year with a $164 million positive fund balance, which is an increase of $15.4 million from last year's amended operating budget. It is also the fourth consecutive year with a year-end positive fund balance.

 As a result of the foregoing reforms documented by the District, I hereby certify that the requisites of Section 7201-B(e) of the Tax Reform Code have been satisfied. I authorize the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to disburse to the District, on or before the tenth day of every month, the total amount of money contained in the Local Sales and Use Tax Fund as of the last day of the previous month up to a maximum of $120,000,000 pursuant to section 7201-B(e)(2) of the Tax Reform Code.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-2010. Filed for public inspection December 28, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]

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