Pittsburgh Public Schools budget has $9.8 million deficit

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Pittsburgh Public Schools officials today released a $521.8 million proposed preliminary general fund budget for 2013 that includes an expected deficit of $9.86 million in the coming year.

The proposal is the same as the one previewed at a board meeting last week, with officials emphasizing as-yet-unspecified changes lie ahead that will reduce that forecasted deficit. The deficit is expected to worsen if future years, with the district running out of money in 2015 if changes aren't made.

The proposal is 1.5 percent lower than the 2012 budget. A special public hearing is scheduled for noon Dec. 3. The board is scheduled to vote on Dec. 19,

The district has received answers to its request for proposals for a firm to help it to make necessary changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education in the district.

A statement prepared by officials called for the district to "re-envision school," noting, "We can't deliver education the same way we always have. Change is needed in order for the district to achieve long-term fiscal stability and become a district of choice."

Chief of staff Lisa Fischetti said the district will be seeking community input as it develops a plan.

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Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.


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