Duquesne's fate: Dissolve the district for the sake of the students

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Children in the Duquesne City School District will be stuck in a failing building with inadequate instructional programs for another year.

Those aren't the words that the district's state-appointed receiver used Tuesday when he said the Duquesne Education Center for kindergarten through sixth grade will remain in operation for the 2013-14 academic year, but that's what Paul Long's announcement means.

Children are the unfortunate victims of a system that put their futures in the hands of 11 neighboring districts. All but one of them said no to requests to take, on a tuition basis, Duquesne students, whose district is dysfunctional and broke. Although West Mifflin Area and East Allegheny have been accepting Duquesne students in grades 7 through 12 since 2007, the district -- and nine others -- rejected the idea of taking the younger students. Only the Pittsburgh Public Schools were willing to discuss the possibility, but officials said they could not commit to taking action before the fall of 2014.

So Duquesne is on life support for another year. The district has proven again and again that it is unable to meet the needs of its students. The district must be dissolved and an alternative must be crafted so its students no longer will be deprived of their right to appropriate, public education.



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