Duquesne Elementary School gets a reprieve

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The 375 students in grades K-6 in the Duquesne School District will stay in place for another year.

State-appointed receiver Paul Long said plans are being made to have elementary classes at the Duquesne Elementary School for the 2014-15 school year.

A year ago, Mr. Long was busy writing to 11 school districts within a 10-mile radius of Duquesne asking them to voluntarily take the Duquesne Elementary students on a tuition basis, in the same way that students in grades 7-12 attend either East Allegheny or West Mifflin Area schools.

Of the 11 districts, only the Pittsburgh Public Schools indicated an interest in discussing the possibility.

However, those plans did not come to fruition for the 2013-14 school year, and no recent talks between Pittsburgh and Duquesne have been held.

Mr. Long's attempt to tuition out the elementary students was the top recommendation in the financial recovery plan that he created for the district under provisions of the state Financial Recovery Act.

Duquesne superintendent Barbara McDonnell said she hopes the improvement she and her staff are making at the elementary school can persuade the state Department of Education to keep it open permanently.

The district's long history of financial and academic struggles are what led to it being named as one of the first four schools across the state to be included in recovery process.

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

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