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Duquesne City School District Recovery Plan

This Recovery Plan is put forth to specify measures to be taken to bring the Duquesne City School District out of severe financial recovery status, in accordance with the Act 141 of 2012 and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis’ declaration of November 16, 2012. The Act describes aspects of financial recovery status procedure, status declaration, planning, Plan implementation and status termination. The Secretary of Education’s letter declared the Duquesne City School District to be in severe financial recovery status.

 

Please click on the link below to view/download the report in full.  

DCSD Recovery Plan

 

Duquesne City School District Recovery Plan Second Amendment

Since implementation of the Duquesne City School District Recovery Plan in April 2013, progress has been made in achieving the Plan's dual goal of improved education for the students of Duquesne and stable, sustainable finances for the Duquesne City School District.  Continued progress toward this dual goal will be enabled by amending the original Plan.  Please click on the link to read more about the Duquesne City School District Recovery Plan Pland Second Amendment.

 

Recovery Plan Quarterly Progress Report Supplemental Information

 For a historical summary of the Duquesne City School District severe financial recovery status, receivership and criteria for exiting recovery status, click on this link: Quarterly Progress Report Supplemental Information

Recovery Plan Quarterly Progress Report 

Below is the Recovery Plan Quarterly Progress Report for October 15, 2016.  If you wish to view previous quarterly reports, please click on the link on the  left side named  "Prior Reports".

 

 

  

The Duquesne City School District 

300 Kennedy Avenue 

Duquesne, PA 15110 

 

Recovery Plan  

Quarterly Progress Report  

 

July 15, 2018 

 

Purpose 

 

This report updates progress on the Duquesne City School District Recovery Plan, which was issued on February 11, 2013 and implemented on April 2, 2013. Section 672-A(b)(2) of the Public School Code of Pennsylvania requires this report. The period covered is the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017-2018, i.e. April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. The previous quarterly progress report in the series is dated April 15, 2018.

 

Executive Summary 

 

Several highlights from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017-2018 follow. 

·         Recovery Plan implementation continued.  

·         The Duquesne City School District (DCSD) continues to operate pre-kindergarten through sixth grade at the Duquesne Elementary School (DES).  

·         Operation of DES is planned for the foreseeable future. 

·         Student enrollment at DES, unchanged since the previous report, is 373, up from 331 at the beginning of the current school year and 335 a year ago. This is seen as a favorable trend, perhaps indicative of increased confidence of parents and guardians in DES.   

·         Efforts continue to improve curriculum and instruction at DES. See details in the section of this report marked Education, which begins on page 2. 

·         DCSD finances had been stable through the first two quarters of the fiscal year. As previously reported, a year-end deficit of $645,089 was projected, due primarily to unbudgeted increases in tuition expense and human resources related expenses. An updated, unaudited, projection of year-end position is a deficit of $1,169,786. See the fund balance analysis in the section marked Finance, beginning on page 4. 

·         Annual tuition to be paid by Duquesne for students attending school elsewhere in 2017-2018 is projected to be $8,215,894, up from $8,007,015 reported on April 15. This change is due primarily to probable increases, still uncertain, in charter school tuition rates for the 2017-2018 school year and previously noted increases in the West Mifflin and East Allegheny tuition amounts.

·         There were no unpaid or contested invoices or debt service obligations during the quarter, and all payroll, benefit expenditures and tuition payments were made in a timely manner. 

·         Work continues on the Third Amendment to the Recovery Plan, which was implemented five years ago. 

 

Supplemental Information 

 

Please see the DCSD website, dukecitysd.org, for an historical summary of the School District’s severe financial recovery status, its receivership and criteria for exiting recovery status. Quarterly Recovery Plan Progress Reports are also available there. 

 

Implementation Narrative 

 

Information on Recovery Plan implementation is set forth in the following three sections of this report:  

 

1.      Education (page 2)  

2.      Finance (page 4) 

3.      Governance and Administration (page 8) 

 

Education  

 

Historic and current DES enrollments are displayed on the following table. Minor changes in grade enrollments occurred since previously reported figures for March 2018, but total enrollment remained the same.  

 

Duquesne Elementary School 

Student Enrollment 

June 30, 2018 

Grade > 

Pre-K 

Total 

Sep 2015 

24 

56 

48 

50 

59 

39 

36 

40 

352 

Dec 2015 

24 

59 

45 

45 

62 

38 

36 

40 

349 

Mar 2016 

27 

60 

46 

45 

58 

39 

36 

37 

348 

Jun 2016 

26 

57 

48 

43 

59 

41 

37 

39 

350 

Sep 2016 

23 

50 

45 

42 

35 

52 

39 

34 

320 

Dec 2016 

26 

51 

43 

41 

33 

54 

42 

34 

324 

Mar 2017 

29 

54 

44 

40 

33 

58 

42 

35 

335 

Jun 2017 

26 

53 

47 

40 

34 

57 

43 

36 

336 

Sep 2017 

29 

39 

47 

46 

42 

35 

52 

41 

331 

Dec 2017 

29 

46 

51 

49 

39 

40 

56 

45 

355 

Mar 2018 

30 

48 

54 

52 

42 

41 

60 

46 

373 

Jun 2018 

30 

48 

56 

53 

40 

42 

58 

46 

373 

                           

 

 

 

 

 

The enrollment at the end of June, 2018 is the highest in recent years. This is encouraging as we continue efforts to bring charter and private school students back to Duquesne Elementary. As indicated in the following chart, enrollment can increase somewhat with only modest marginal costs.

 

The following tabulation reflects current regular education sections and average class size at each grade. 

 

Duquesne Elementary School 

Regular Education Sections and Class Size 

June 30, 2018 

Grade > 

Pre-K 

Total 

Sections 

20 

Average 

15.0 

16.0 

18.7 

17.7 

20.0 

21.0 

19.3 

23.0 

18.7 

 

Superintendent Sue Moyer has assumed leadership of the Curriculum Steering Committee (CSC). She has been working with the CSC to become familiar with existing curriculum and instructional practice and to plan, implement and monitor new initiatives.

 

The CSC has been working to implement a Positive School Wide Behavior Support model. A PBIS Leadership Team was developed to review the model and include more classroom teacher input. Meetings with teachers and support staff have been held to see which parts of the program need to be supported and how to best support them.  Students from Duquesne University are assisting with implementation and data collection. Also, staff from Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3 have assisted in revising and refreshing our current behavior matrix, lesson plans, and acknowledgement system. 

 

In matters of ELA, the CSC is monitoring the use of Daily 5 reading instruction and planning for teachers to attend an upcoming Daily 5 conference in Pittsburgh.   

 

The CSC has also been evaluating curriculum materials for implementation in the upcoming school year.  These materials include iLit, a technology-based reading intervention program that aligns with individual student need; Letters and Numbers Alive, a literacy-based program for our Pre-K classrooms; and Project Based Learning, a new initiative that the CSC will be focusing on throughout the year.   

Finally, the CSC has completed preparations to continue to incorporate Career Readiness Standards into our existing written curriculum. The goals of these efforts have been to ensure proper development of the standards, incorporation into everyday teaching, and acquisition of artifacts to support implementation. 

 

On April 17 consultant Nancy Olenik conducted a federal programs assist visit.  

On May 14 a Title 1 Monitoring was completed by Cindy Patton. Finally, on June 7 Tyann Neal conducted a monitoring visit on behalf of the Bureau of Special Education at PDE.  

 

The incidence of special needs students at DES remains high at 34%, more than twice the PDE target. As previously reported, this high incidence is attributed to legitimate special needs of students. Of course, as appropriate, enrolled students are evaluated for special education services. Also, many new enrollees arrive with previously identified disabilities. Furthermore, it is common to have several new kindergarten or first grade enrollees who have had early childhood (DART) services. For example, twelve of these students are expected to be screened for the 2018-2019 school year.     

 

Results of benchmarking and diagnostic assessments for the 2017-2018 school year were reported in the April 15 report. Results of Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSAs) administered in the spring of 2018 are not yet available. These results will be reported in a future report.  

 

The Education Advisory Committee (EAC), led by PDE Deputy Secretary of Education for Administration Debbie Reeves, met three times during the quarter on April 13, May 18, and June 21. The purpose of the EAC is to monitor and report on the transition and education of Duquesne secondary students who attend West Mifflin Area and East Allegheny schools. 

 

Finance 

 

Execution of the 2017-2018 General Fund Budget continued routinely during the fourth quarter. As previously reported, over-budget expenditures will result in a year-end general fund deficit. There have been no unpaid or contested invoices or debt service obligations during the quarter. Furthermore, all payroll, benefit expenditures and tuition payments have been made on time. 

  

The following fund balance analysis is based on audited year-end results for 2016-2017 and the DCSD General Fund Budget for 2017-2018, with estimates of expenditure changes due to increases in tuition expense and human resources related expenses, as well as potential revenue changes. A year-end general fund deficit of $1,169,786 is projected.

 

This deficit may well be adjusted in the local audit which will result in the Annual Financial Statement. The charter school tuition numbers, which have been a point of uncertainty, will hopefully have been reconciled before the audit. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duquesne City School District 

General Fund 

Fund Balance Analysis  

June 30, 2018 

Non-spendable  

??  

?? Prepaids  

$? ? 197,288 

?? Other  

0

Total non-spendable 

$   197,288 

Restricted 

?????? 0

Committed 

?? Committed for extraordinary educational needs 

?$ 1,000,000

?? Committed for increases in PSERS contributions 

?????? 284,666

?? Committed for increases in health benefit expense 

?????? 934,442

?? Committed for capital improvements 

?????? 250,000

   Committed to refund Series 2013 Bonds when callable  

2,800,000

 

Total committed 

? 5,269,108

Assigned 

 

0

Unassigned 

????  

???? 403,390

Total fund balance as of June 30, 2017 (audited) 

5,869,786

Fund balance appropriation for the 2017-2018 budget 

 

0

Projected surplus (deficit) for the 2017-2018 budget  

 

(1,169,786)

Total projected fund balance as of June 30, 2018  

$4,700,000

 

 

 

 

A key component of the DCSD’s financial recovery is reduction long term liabilities, most importantly interest bearing debt. A summary of bonds and notes payable is shown on the following table.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duquesne City School District 

Bonds and Notes Payable 

June 30, 2018 

Fiscal Year Ending 

June 30 

Bonds Payable 

Notes Payable 

Total Bonds and Notes Payable 

2012* 

$14,124,167 

$14,124,167 

2013* 

  13,173,333 

  13,173,333 

2014* 

    9,272,501 

$1,000,000 

  10,272,501 

2015* 

    6,616,667 

  2,335,000 

    8,951,667 

2016* 

    6,110,833 

  1,500,000 

    7,610,833 

 2017* 

   5,590,000 

   1,000,000 

    6,590,000 

  2018** 

   5,054,167 

   1,000,000 

    6,054,167 

  2019** 

 $4,503,333 

 $  850,000 

   $5,353,333 

*     Audited financial statements 

**   Projected 

 

As in almost all school districts, the paramount aspect of finance at Duquesne is management of salary and benefit expenses. The following chart presents a summary of staffing at the DCSD as of June 30. There were two changes in the number of staff members in each category in comparison to the previous report. First, the number of administrators increased by one with the appointment of a permanent Superintendent of Schools. Second, the number of instructional support staff increased because of Individual Education Plan (IEP) requirements for special needs students.  

 

Duquesne City School District 

2017-2018 Staffing Summary 

June 30, 2018 

Professional staff 

39 

Administrators* 

Instructional support staff 

22 

Coordinators and supervisors* 

Other support staff 

12 

Confidential exempt staff 

 

* In addition to DCSD staff, part time consultants have been utilized to assist in the following areas: special education administration (Debra Zimarowski), business administration (James Graham), federal programs administration (Nancy Olenik) and communications coordination (Sarah McCluan). Also, the full time Receiver, Paul J. Rach, Ed.D., who is compensated by PDE, participated in administration and governance of the DCSD. 

 

A major aspect of financial management at Duquesne is tuition for students attending school elsewhere. Current tuition enrollments are tabulated below. 

 

Duquesne City School District 

Tuition Enrollments 

June 30, 2018 

Receiving Schools 

Grades 

Students  

March 31 

Students  

June 30 

Projected 2017-2018 Tuition 

West Mifflin Area School District 

7-12 

295 

322 

$4,095,270

East Allegheny School District 

7-12 

36 

37 

470,575

Charter schools, regular education 

K-6 

137 

131 

1,846,473

Charter schools, special education 

K-6 

21 

16 

615,390

Charter schools, regular education 

7-12 

43 

46 

648,380

Charter schools, special education 

7-12 

11 

192,309

Special education schools 

K-12 

22 

16 

275,168

Other schools 

K-12 

72,330

Totals       

 

574 

579 

$8,215,894

 

Changes in individual tuition enrollments in the categories of receiving schools during the fourth quarter can be seen by comparing enrollments from March 31 to June 30 on the above table. 

 

The annual tuition rate for Duquesne students who attend school in WMA and East Allegheny is $12,718.23. 

 

Charter school tuition rates were formerly set and regularly adjusted by PDE. Currently, the School District calculates tuition rates using the PDE 363 form.

 

The budgeted annual tuition for each regular education charter school student is $13,087.91. For each special education student who attends a charter school, the budgeted annual tuition is $32,019.05. Updated rates, calculated locally, are $14,095.21 for regular education students and $38,461.86 for special education students. The above chart utilizes the greater rates. A revised PDE 363 will be completed and applied to these calculations, which may result in revised totals.  

 

Enrollments of Duquesne?students in charter schools at key months over the last several years are depicted below. It is noteworthy that the year-end charter school enrollment is 14 fewer than the beginning of the year and five less than a year ago.  

 

Duquesne City School District 

Charter School Enrollments 

March 31, 2018 

Month 

Year 

Elementary 

Secondary 

Total Enrollment 

September 

2015 

132 

54 

186 

March 

2016 

129 

60 

189 

June 

2016 

131 

61 

192 

September 

2016 

172 

58 

230 

March 

2017 

145 

62 

207 

June 

2017 

145 

58 

203 

September 

2017 

160 

52 

212 

December 

2017 

162 

62 

224 

March 

2018 

158 

54 

212 

June 

2018 

147 

51 

198 

           

 

Governance and Administration   

 

The DCSD Superintendent of Schools is Sue A. Moyer. She is supervised by Receiver Paul J. Rach, Ed.D. Both Ms. Moyer and Dr. Rach took their respective offices on March 1, 2018. Dr. Rach reports to the Duquesne City Board of School Directors, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas (ACCCP). At PDE, Dr. Rach reports to Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera via Executive Deputy Secretary of Education David W. Volkman, D.Ed. and Deputy Secretary of Education for Administration Debbie Reeves. At the ACCCP, Dr. Rach reports to Senior Judge Judith L.A. Friedman.  

The Duquesne City Board of School Directors consists of the following members.   

 

1.                  Board President DeWayne Tucker 

2.                  Board Vice President Calvina Harris 

3.                  School Director Sonya Gooden 

4.                  School Director Burton Comensky 

5.                  School Director Laura Elmore 

6.                  School Director Christine Matsko 

7.                  School Director Rosia Reid 

8.                  School Director Cedric Robertson 

9.                  School Director Maxine Thomas 

 

Members of the Duquesne City Board of School Directors participated in three receiver business meetings in the fourth quarter: April 24, May 15 and June 19. Attendance by school directors was respectively seven, two and five.  

 

The Receiver Advisory Council met twice during the fourth quarter: May 1 and June 12. Attendance of members was respectively eight and five. 

 

As previously reported, the Recovery Plan was implemented over five years ago, on April 2, 2013. Portions of it are out of date. Similarly, certain parts of the Second Amendment to the Recovery Plan, implemented on November 17, 2014, are no longer current. Furthermore, as addressed above, the School District's emerging financial instability needs to be addressed in the Recovery Plan. Therefore, work continues on a Third Amendment to the Recovery Plan. 

    

Next Report 

 

The next quarterly Recovery Plan Progress Report will cover the first quarter of fiscal year 2018-219, i.e. July 1 through September 30, 2018. That report is expected to be filed in October.   

 

Acknowledgements 

 

The following individuals contributed to this report.  

 

1.                  Paul J. Rach, Ed.D., Receiver, DCSD 

2.                  Sue A. Moyer, M.Ed., Superintendent of Schools, DCSD 

3.                  Nedene M. Gullen, Business Manager, DCSD 

4.                  Jennifer M. Jennings, M.Ed., Principal, DES 

5.                  Stanley B. Whiteman III, M.Ed., Associate Principal, DES 

6.                  James E. Miller III, Technology Coordinator, DCSD 

7.                  Debra M. Zimarowski, Special Education Consultant 

8.                  James B. Graham, Business Consultant 

 

 

 

 


300 Kennedy Ave | Duquesne, PA 15110 | (412) 466-9600