The chief recovery officer for the Duquesne City School District has announced the dates of four community meetings that are part of the process of drawing up a financial recovery plan for the distressed district.
Paul Long said the meetings, which are required under the recovery legislation, will be:
• at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Duquesne Education Center auditorium, 300 Kennedy Ave., Duquesne.
• at 7 p.m. Jan. 8 in Macedonia Baptist Church, Duquesne Boulevard and Cochran Avenue, Duquesne.
• at 5 p.m. Jan. 16, Christ the Light of the World Church, 32 S. First St., Duquesne.
• at 2 p.m. Jan. 24, the Duquesne Education Center auditorium.
The meetings are open to the public, and the public will be able to speak.
An explanation of the recovery designation and process will be provided.
State Education Secretary Ron Tomalis named Mr. Long the chief recovery officer for Duquesne on Nov. 16 and recently extended the deadline for the development of a financial recovery plan for the district to Jan. 31.
Mr. Long also has set up an advisory council to take input from community members, although it has no authority to make a decision and is not required by law.
He said nine people met with him Thursday evening, but he declined to say who they were because the members did not give him permission to do so.
As a newcomer, Mr. Long said he is trying to understand the background and aspirations of the community.
He said the advisory council is "just another way to learn about the community and try to move ahead in a way that's going to reflect what the community needs and wants.
"The solution has got to be something the community is going to buy into or at least understand and hopefully buy into," he said.
He said he is talking with others as well.
"I'm in close contact with the school board, in close contact with the people in the administration and some of the people who work at Duquesne, in touch with community leaders at city hall and a couple of leading pastors in the community."
Based on the comments of the advisory council, he said, "This community deserves and wants better public education and we need to be pursuing that."
He said the advisory council has no authority to make a decision and expects it will meet again in January.
Three other school districts -- Chester Upland, Harrisburg and York -- also fall under state financial recovery legislation.
Education writer Eleanor Chute: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1955.