Parents of North Allegheny students to voice concerns over a recommendation to close Peebles Elementary
Parents of North Allegheny elementary students plan to speak on Wednesday to the school board to voice their concerns over a recommendation to close Peebles Elementary School in McCandless.
A consultant hired by the district suggested to the board last month that, while experiencing rising costs and less funding, the district should consider closing Peebles.
Parents said that a previous study commissioned by the board that examined potential cost savings did not mention closing Peebles.
“It blindsided a lot of parents because that was different than the recommendation of the first study,” said Tara Fisher, 36, of McCandless, who has a child at Peebles and is a member of the school’s Parent Teacher Association. “Our main goal at this point is to work with the administration and school board to explore all the alternatives.”
Fisher said parents will ask that a task force be formed consisting of community members, teachers, parents and financial experts.
North Allegheny School Board President Maureen Grosheider stressed that the board has not made any decisions.
“It’s premature to make any judgment on what the board will do. Frankly, we just received a report and we have to go through it very carefully,” Grosheider said. “We need to get more data.”
Grosheider said the recommendation stemmed from data that showed enrollment from the western part of the district is growing while it’s declining in other areas. She said redrawing the boundaries of the seven elementary schools is an option.
The recommendation was made as Superintendent Raymond D. Gualtieri said the district is projected to face a $10 million budget deficit for the 2013-14 school year. He said further cuts in spending will require altering or eliminating programs.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or [email protected].