ShareThis Page
Town hall to address Penn Hills debt crisis set for Feb. 28 | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Town hall to address Penn Hills debt crisis set for Feb. 28

Dillon Carr
| Monday, February 25, 2019 1:40 p.m
799279_web1_penn-hills-administration
Penn Hills School District’s administration office

The Pennsylvania Auditor General will hold a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss ideas for improving the Penn Hills School District.

“I invite students, teachers, support staff and parents to bring suggestions about how we can come together as a community to turn around the Penn Hills School District,” Eugene DePasquale said in a statement.

The forum will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at CCAC-Boyce’s lecture hall, 595 Beatty Road, Monroeville. Doors open at 6 p.m. Anyone who would like to speak can sign up at the event.

The auditor general released a report in 2016 detailing the school district’s “mismanagement and lack of oversight that led to the district’s enormous debt problem.”

Penn Hills is more than $172 million in debt largely due to the construction of a new high school and elementary school.

The report led Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala to launch a grand jury investigation, which concluded Feb. 5 and resulted in no indictments.

Instead, the report said the district is guilty of “inexcusable” carelessness that brought “economic ruin.” It also cited concerns over possible ethics violations and conflicts of interests and recommended state lawmakers enact new legislation to avoid future such scenarios.

The state Department of Education has placed the district into financial recovery status and appointed Dan Matsook to work with an advisory committee with the goal of getting the debt-ridden district back on track. The former Wilkinsburg superintendent began his new role Feb. 11.

The school district’s 2019-20 preliminary budget calls for maximum tax increases and projects an $8.1 million shortfall.

Backpacks, bags, food and drink will not be permitted at the meeting.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, dcarr@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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.