Monday release set for Duquesne schools financial recovery plan
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 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Elizabeth Township gives police chief raise, hires 3 officers
- 3 injured in police chase, collision in Duquesne
- 26 students at risk of losing bus service, East Allegheny superintendent warns
- Court rules McKeesport Area board election OK
- McKeesport shooting victim in stable condition
- Next of kin sought for man whose body was found in Youghiogheny River
- Glassport native added to Independent Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Kennywood’s popular Phantom Fright Nights about to begin
- ReClaim McKeesport ceremony celebrates new city ambassadors