West Mifflin Schools vote to sue department of education, state

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The West Mifflin Area School District is suing the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the commonwealth over reimbursements it believes it should be entitled to for educating about 260 Duquesne City School District students.

The board voted 7-0 to file the lawsuit at its Monday meeting. Directors Richard Crux and Michael Price were absent.

West Mifflin superintendent Daniel Castagna said it costs nearly $17,000 to educate a student in the district and the school receives about $10,000 of that from the Duquesne City School District.

Students in grades seven through 12 who live in the Duquesne City School District attend school at either West Mifflin or East Allegheny. He said prior to the vote that the “state has put higher priority on Duquesne,” a district with 350 students, compared to West Mifflin’s 3,200. He added he doesn’t feel West Mifflin has been “fairly compensated.”

Mr. Castagna said the students from Duquesne who are attending West Mifflin are doing well.

“We are having success and the state doesn’t put money into success,” Mr. Castagna said.

Board member Phil Shar, who has championed a law suit against the department of education and the state for two years said, “The West Mifflin taxpayer needs relief.”

Prior to the vote, solicitor George Gobel told the board, “I think you can win the lawsuit.”

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