Q: What is the Act 1 Index?

The Act 1 index is used to determine the maximum tax increases for each tax the school district levies (without PDE exception or voter approval).

The base index is calculated by averaging the percent increases in the Pennsylvania statewide average weekly wage and the Federal employment cost index for elementary/secondary schools.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the Act 1 index is 2.3%. 
The PASD Board of Directors works very hard to balance the needs of the District while keeping taxes as low as possible.  The past eight PASD budgets have seen a tax increase which is actually lower than allowed by the Act 1 index.

Q: Has there been any agreement so far on any issues through the negotiations process?

While the two outstanding issues of salary and health insurance remain unresolved, we are pleased that the district and teachers’ union found agreement on all other issues raised at the negotiation table.  These “tentative agreements” include the following:

• Additional non-instructional time for special education teachers to develop Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for their students 
• Dedicated time for teachers to prepare their classrooms and instruction prior to the first day of school
• Addition of family sick leave
• Revised definition of long-term substitutes
• Streamlined guidelines for course reimbursements
• Change from 26 pays per year to 24 pays
• Addition of summer healthcare coverage for retirees
• Revision to healthcare coverage post-retirement for 25+ year teachers

We also captured language for issues including coaching, teacher payment for moving classrooms, and blended learning when the last contract was negotiated and finalized.

Q: The district and teachers’ union agreed to negotiate based on the “total cost of compensation” for teachers.  What does that mean?

As with all professional employees, salary is only one piece of the total cost of compensation paid by the district to teachers for the important work they do.  Other components of the total compensation to teachers include pension payments, medical/prescription insurance, vision and dental insurance, short-term disability premiums, social security and medicare, unemployment and workers compensation.

For example, the average teacher pay in Phoenixville Area School District is approximately $75,000. Based on that, here is the total compensation cost of a teacher:

Salary  $ 75,000.00
Pension  $ 25,717.50 *Local Taxpayers pay 50% and 50% is paid by Commonwealth 
Health Insurance   $ 16,000.00
Vision/Dental  $ 1,500.00
FICA  $ 5,737.50 *Local Taxpayers pay 50% and 50% is paid by Commonwealth 
Unemployment & Workers Comp  $ 825.00
Total Compensation  $ 124,780.00

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