Mayor's task force on public schools gets three more months to complete work

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The public schools task force assembled by Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council will have an extra three months to perform its work.

The council passed a measure today that will give the 25-member task force, composed of council and school board members, teachers, union leaders, the school superintendent and community and foundation members, among others, until Dec. 1 to deliver its report on school closings and Pittsburgh Public Schools' "financial condition."

The task force's first meetings have been closed to the public. It was to have finished its report by Sept. 1.

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, one of four council members on the task force, said last week that the group needs more time but is making progress.

"We are making great strides in working with the school district," she said.

Tim McNulty, a spokesman for Mr. Peduto, said a mediator, University of Connecticut professor Preston Green, participated in the first meeting but will not take part in subsequent sessions and the bill for his services will be much lower than the $20,000 budgeted, though he could not provide exact figures. The time extension will not increase the cost to city taxpayers.

Robert Zullo: or 412-263-3909. Twitter: @rczullo. First Published July 29, 2014 12:00 AM

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