Duquesne schools get more time to consider financial recovery

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State Education Secretary Ron Tomalis has granted the Duquesne City School District an extension of its deadline to respond to the preliminary declaration of financial recovery for the district.

The preliminary declaration, made in August by Mr. Tomalis, is the first move toward naming a chief recovery officer for the district, and clearing the way for such measures as converting the K-6 district to a charter school, bringing in another educational management firm to oversee the district or sending the students to neighboring districts on a tuition basis, which is what happens with other grades. The new deadline is Sept. 26.

The district's original deadline for response was Sept. 6, but the state board of control overseeing the district requested an extension because it didn't have another meeting scheduled until Sept. 18 and wanted the opportunity to discuss the issue at its meeting.

The Duquesne board may request a hearing with Mr. Tomalis to discuss the preliminary declaration. If the board takes no action by the deadline, the declaration becomes final and a chief recovery officer will be named.

Duquesne is one of four districts across the state targeted by financial recovery legislation approved by the state Legislature along with the 2012 budget in June.

Last month, Mr. Tomalis declared the Chester Upland School District to be in financial recovery, a declaration that was not opposed, and he appointed Joe Watkins, a Philadelphia pastor and analyst for MSNBC as its chief recovery officer. The Harrisburg School District received an extension until Friday to decide on its preliminary declaration and the York School District has requested a hearing before Mr. Tomalis. education - breaking - neigh_south

Mary Niederberger: mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1590.


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