TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Monday release set for Duquesne schools financial recovery plan

About Patrick Cloonan
Patrick Cloonan 412-664-9161
Staff Reporter
Daily News

Details

Pope Benedict to resign

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years.

The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.

He said that because of his advanced age and diminishing strength, he didn't feel he could carry on the job.

— Associated Press


By Patrick Cloonan

Published: Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 3:46 a.m.

State-appointed chief recovery officer Paul B. Long is completing his plan for Duquesne City School District.

Long said on Friday that he was on schedule to release it Monday morning, then post it Monday afternoon on the www.dukecitysd.org website.

It will be a five-year plan for the district, which has been designated by state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis as being in “severe financial recovery.”

State law requires that the elected school board act on the plan within 10 days. That could happen at the board's second special meeting in February. No date has been set yet.

On Thursday the board met to approve the hiring of substitute teachers. Its next regular meeting is Feb. 26.

If the board rejects the plan, the state can ask Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to put the district into receivership. A Delaware County judge put Chester Upland into receivership after its board rejected chief recovery officer Joseph Watkins' plan.

At public forums, Long proposed four scenarios, including continued education of kindergarten and elementary students in Duquesne, while those in grades 7-12 are tuitioned out to West Mifflin Area and East Allegheny.

However, he called the status quo “academically and fiscally unacceptable,” though “it provides a baseline to compare” with other scenarios:

• Place K-6 students in nearby districts on the basis of voluntary agreements.

“The tuition would have to be affordable to Duquesne,” Long said.

• Place K-6 students in nearby districts based on state mandate. That is what is done now in East Allegheny and West Mifflin Area schools.

West Mifflin Area reserved as an option a lawsuit against the state education department because it only gets $10,500 per student while charter schools may get up to $28,500 per student.

“We have similar concerns,” East Allegheny director Frederick Miller said on Thursday. To date, his district hasn't discussed a lawsuit.

• Establish a charter school for grades K-6 in Duquesne Education Center.

While former Duquesne school director Connie Lucas is pressing that idea with support from a majority on the elected board, ultimately a charter school may depend on what happens to reforms Gov. Tom Corbett proposes.

“Under the existing law ... this scenario is not financially viable,” Long said.

Tomalis appointed Long on Nov. 16 and the city's elected board accepted him on Nov. 29.

Tomalis gave Long continuances in December and January. The last delay was until after Corbett's budget address to legislators last week.

Corbett's budget has $11.8 million for Duquesne, $8.56 million of that in a basic education subsidy that is $62,000 higher than the 2012-13 subsidy.

Also proposed are a continued $2.5 million in supplemental funding, no change in the district's accountability grant but a slight decrease in special education funding.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read McKeesport

  1. Serra Catholic High School friary to house foreign students
  2. 5 Operation Pork Chop defendants sentenced to 5 years probation
  3. Markosek supports McCord for governor
  4. Parole denied for man convicted in 1997 slaying of 14-month-old
  5. Steel Valley Bicycle Tour will raise funds for trail maintenance
  6. McKeesport student to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s legacy
  7. East Allegheny counselors receive national recognition
  8. U.S. Steel presents tuition scholarship money for Catholic education
  9. Dravosburg residents try to save PNC Bank from closing
  10. Officials in North Versailles fed up with littering
  11. West Mifflin public works lauded for efforts
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.