State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis has granted an extension to today's deadline for the chief recovery officer of the Duquesne City School District to come up with a financial recovery plan for the district.
On Monday, chief recovery officer Paul B. Long said he requested an extension so that he can hear Gov. Tom Corbett's budget proposal next week in order to have more up-to-date financial information for the 2013-2014 school year.
Today Mr. Tomalis announced that he has granted an extension until Feb. 11. It is the second extension he has given Mr. Long. The original deadline for the plan was Dec. 16.
Duquesne is one of four districts statewide to receive a chief recovery officer under new financial recovery legislation aimed at addressing issues in the state's most financially troubled districts.
Mr. Long has said he is considering four options for his plan: Retaining the current K-6 school; bringing in a charter school operator; sending students to nearby districts on a tuition basis via agreements with the districts; sending the students to nearby districts on a tuition basis via a mandate.
Retaining the current program and operating a charter school don't appear to be viable financial options, Mr. Long said in a letter last week.
Sending the students to other districts via a mandate would require new state legislation, similar to that approved when Duquesne high school was closed in 2007 and students were reassigned by mandate to East Allegheny and West Mifflin Area school districts. That same legislation was used to send seventh and eighth grade students to those districts this year.
Mr. Long's plan will be presented to the Duquesne school board on Feb. 11 and the board will have 10 days to vote to accept or reject it.
If accepted, it will be sent to Mr. Tomalis for his approval. If disapproved the chief recoery officer has 20 days to revise.
If the board rejects the plan, the matter goes to Common Pleas Court, where a receiver will be appointed for the district to carry out the plan.
Mary Niederberger: email@example.com; 412-263-1590.