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Duquesne schools plan recommends voluntary student transfers

| Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 12:22 p.m.

The state-appointed chief recovery officer for Duquesne City School District is recommending a voluntary transfer of all elementary school students from the city's public school to other nearby districts.

“Agreements between the receiving school district(s) and Duquesne City … would be voluntary and beneficial for both districts,” according to the 112-page plan Paul B. Long issued late Monday morning.

“The receiving district would need to have adequate classroom capacity and appropriate academic programs,” Long continued. “Furthermore, the tuition would have to be affordable to Duquesne.”

The proposed voluntary transfer was one of four scenarios presented in Long's plan. He ruled out maintaining the existing kindergarten-grade 6 school in the former Duquesne High School building along Kennedy Avenue as “academically undesirable and fiscally unsustainable.”

He said existing state law would have to be changed to mandate a transfer of elementary students to other districts. Under existing law Duquesne tuitions students in grades 7-12 to East Allegheny and West Mifflin Area districts.

He also ruled out a charter school at Duquesne Education Center as “clearly not financially viable.”

A majority of members on the elected school board is behind a proposed charter school being advocated by former school board member Connie Lucas and previously rejected twice by the district's state-appointed Board of Control.

The plan must be approved by the elected school board within 10 days or the state Department of Education can seek to put Duquesne into receivership.

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