#2 Pencils, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from kungfubonanza’s photostream

On August 4th, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane announced a proposed District Realignment Plan. The new plan would close seven schools (Fort Pitt PreK-5, Langley High School, Murray K-8, Northview PreK-8, Oliver High School, Shaeffer K-8, Stevens K-8) and seven buildings and open one new school. (click here to view the proposed changes). School Board approval is required to make these changes which would not take effect earlier than the 2012-2013 school year. The earliest the Board can vote on the District Realignment Plan is November 22, 2011.

The reasons for the proposed school closings are due to both declining enrollment and huge budget deficits. From their website:

Pittsburgh Public Schools, like districts across the Commonwealth and the country, is facing daunting financial challenges. When the District adopted the 2011 budget, the problem was smaller but still there – and showed an $8.7 million deficit for 2011 and forecasted a $53.6 million deficit for 2012.With the announcement of the Governor’s proposed funding cuts in March 2011, the District’s projected budget deficit grew to $68 million for 2012 and nearly $100 million in 2015.

There will be a Special Public Hearing on August 22, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comment on the District Realignment Plan. This is your chance to make your views known. If you want to speak at this hearing, you must register with the Office of Superintendent of Schools by calling 412-622-3600 by Noon on August 22, 2011. You may also submit written testimony in lieu of appearing at the hearing via email to publichearing@pghboe.net or by fax to 412-622-3624 no later than 5 p.m. on August 22, 2011.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Special Public Hearing
August 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
Conference Room A, First Floor
Board of Public Education Administration Building
341 South Bellefield Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213