Retired Navy officer, North Allegheny administrator named Duquesne schools' recovery officer

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Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis has named a retired Navy officer and former administrator from the North Allegheny School District to serve as the chief recovery officer of the Duquesne City School District.

Paul B. Long, 63, a native of McKees Rocks and graduate of Shaler High School, will come up with a financial recovery plan for the financially and academically ailing Duquesne City School District if the district's elected board chooses to accept him.

Under new state legislation regarding distressed schools, Mr. Tomalis in August gave Duquesne a preliminary declaration of financial recovery.

Today he made that declaration final and named Mr. Long.

Under the legislation, the recovery plan could include converting the school to a charter school, bringing in charter or private management or sending the district's students in grades K-6 to neighboring districts.

Duquesne students in grades 7-12 already attend West Mifflin and East Allegheny schools on a tuition basis.

Now, according to the process outlined in the legislation, the board of control that has overseen the Duquesne district since the fall of 2000 will dissolve and control of the district will return to the elected board, which has 14 days to decide whether to work with Mr. Long.

If not, the matter will go to Common Pleas Court, where a receiver will be appointed.

If the board accepts the chief recovery officer, Mr. Long has 30 days to develop a financial recovery plan for the district.

Once that plan is formulated, the board must decide if it will accept it.

If so, it goes into effect immediately. If not, the issue heads to Common Pleas Court, where a receiver would be appointed to carry it out.

According to a release from the Department of Education, Mr. Long is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

After serving 20 years in the Navy, where he earned the rank of commander, Mr. Long began an education career at North Allegheny, where he served as director of finance and administration. He worked later as business administrator, acting superintendent and chief executive officer for the Pennsbury School District in Bucks County.

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


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