The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools is preparing to vote on whether to hire an outside company to continue to run the alternative program at Clayton Academy on the North Side for another year.
The motion, which will be up for a vote next Wednesday, calls for the board to spend up to $2.8 million for Specialized Education Services in 2014-15 to run the program, which serves students in grades 6-12 who have been disruptive in other district schools.
A year ago, the board discussed having the district take over the program in the coming school year, but superintendent Linda Lane said the district isn't ready yet.
At an agenda review meeting tonight, board member Regina Holley said she isn't happy about it but will vote to extend the contract one more year and one more year only.
"If you tell me you're not ready, I'm going to honestly believe you're not ready to do this," she said, saying she didn't want to see the students returned to their home schools without needed supports.
Ms. Lane pledged she will not seek another extension.
However, board member Mark Brentley Sr. said he won't vote for it. He praised the staff at another alternative program, the Student Achievement Center in Homewood, which is operated by the district. He believes that staff could be used to develop a program at Clayton and plans to vote against the motion.
Clayton has served 334 students this school year as of a presentation to the board early this month. At that point, 60 students had been successfully transitioned back to the home school and one had returned.
Education writer Eleanor Chute: email@example.com or 412-263-1955.