Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Superintendent Recommends 74% Cut In Capital Spending

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane will submit a greatly pared down 2011 capital budget to the School Board this evening. Lane says this revised spending plan is part of the District’s continued efforts to operate more efficiently and reduce operating costs.

“In this difficult fiscal climate, it makes absolutely no sense for the district to borrow and spend $60 million on capital projects. I have reviewed our spending plan with staff and believe that these reductions are necessary to maintain fiscal discipline, while still allowing for required investments in our facility maintenance."

Lane says for the time being, they will only borrow for the most basic facility needs like fixing roofs, windows and boilers as well as safety issues.

Late last year the board approved a 2011 capital budget called for borrowing and spending more than $60.3 million on projects at district facilities. Lane's proposal calls for reducing the spending to approximately $14.9 million. This cut will trim the district's annual debt service for 2012 from $65.3 million to $61.7 million.

The revised capital budget would eliminate all or most of the funding for 16 projects including major renovations at Arlington K-8, Oliver High School, Northview K-8 and the Peabody school building.

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