Corbett Signs Bill to Help Troubled Pa. School Districts

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday signed into law a program to help Duquesne and other financially distressed school districts right their finances.

The financial recovery program, proposed by Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin and chairman of the Education Committee, borrows from laws addressing distressed municipalities and the Philadelphia schools.

The new law empowers the secretary of education to appoint an official, known as a chief recovery officer, to oversee districts declared to be in financial distress. The district school board must work with the officer to form and implement a recovery plan — or face the appointment of a receiver.

Districts that implement a recovery plan would be eligible for interest-free loans. The legislation was written to include the districts of Duquesne, Harrisburg, York City and Chester-Upland, and it caps the program at nine districts.

The law allows districts a number of tools for use in their recovery.

Click here to read the full article by  Karen Langley published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 13, 2012)

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