Pittsburgh Public Schools Officials Forecast Budget Deficit by 2015

By Zlatos, Bill | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Pittsburgh Public Schools Officials Forecast Budget Deficit by 2015


Zlatos, Bill, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Pittsburgh Public Schools could have empty pockets in three years, district officials warned Monday.

City schools Superintendent Linda Lane said during an update of the district's finances at the Administration Building in Oakland that she plans to present an operating budget of $521.8 million for 2013. That's a decrease of 1.5 percent over this year with no increase in taxes.

However, the fund surplus, now at $72.4 million, would soon vanish and the district would be $16.6 million in the red if nothing else is done.

"By 2015, are we broke?" school board member Thomas Sumpter asked.

"Correct," business manager Ronald Joseph replied.

The district is swamped by an array of problems: Enrollment has dropped from 32,661 in 2004 to 24,889 this year because of competition from charter, parochial and private schools. Its contributions for employee pensions are projected to double from $21.1 million this year to nearly $43.7 million in 2015.

The city schools saved nearly $50 million between June 2011 and July 2012 by cutting 217 central office employees, closing seven schools and taking other steps. …

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