Wilkinsburg school district to go on state watch list
The state Department of Education intends to place Wilkinsburg School District on a watch list for financially distressed districts, state Sen. Jim Ferlo's office said on Thursday.
The department notified Ferlo, D-Highland Park, about its plan, said Anne Huber, his spokeswoman. He would not comment, she said.
The state expects to release watch list information soon, said Education Department spokesman Tim Eller, who declined to comment about Wilkinsburg.
The list is part of the state's early warning system that mandates districts in jeopardy receive technical assistance from the state to fix financial problems.
Charter schools, which take students and state money from districts, constitute Wilkinsburg's biggest financial burden, said Philip Martell, assistant director of business affairs.
In this school year, 375 Wilkinsburg children attended charter schools, which received $3.5 million in state subsidies that would have gone to the public school district. It finished the year with a $3.7 million deficit.
The district's budget is $27.4 million this school year and should be about the same in 2013-14, though officials made deep budget cuts, Martell said.
In the past three years, Wilkinsburg schools cut 87 jobs, leaving 246 employees. That saved about $2.8 million, he said.
The district recently sought approval from Allegheny County court to borrow $3 million from PNC Bank to help pay bills for the rest of this school year. The court granted that on Feb. 13.
Of the 1,017 students enrolled in Wilkinsburg School District, 81 percent receive free or reduced-price lunches, state records show.
Tory N. Parrish is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- $5M Penn Avenue reconstruction project is ‘killing everything’
- Controller recommends hiring to reduce 911 center overtime
- Duquesne Club seeks permission from city to keep 4 rooftop bee hives
- Threat at Sheraden school a ‘student hoax’
- Allegheny County RAD increases budget by $2.5M for cultural, recreational programs
- Beaver Co. commissioners allow deputy sheriffs to escort motorcycle run
- Former Pennsylvania civil rights investigator from Penn Hills sues agency, alleges discrimination
- Penn Hills school officials trying to correct transportation problems
- Western Pa. towns eye fees to control stormwater runoff
- Pirates rally planned for Market Square
- Bethel Park police chief to retire in mid-October