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Seven City Schools Could Close Next Year

Seven city schools would close starting in the 2012-2013 school year, under a cost-cutting plan announced today by Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Superintendent Linda Lane said Both Oliver and Langley High Schools would close under the proposal, which is meant to save the cash-strapped district at least $7 million each year.

The plan would also close five elementary and middle schools, including Fort Pitt, Murray, Northview, Schaeffer, and Stevens.

Four of the seven schools recommended for closure are in the city's West End. Lane said if the area's Langley High School closes, a new PreK-8 school would open in that building, to accommodate students from Schaeffer and Stevens.

Students from Langley would go to Brashear High School; those attending Oliver would instead go to Perry High School.

Lane said the district will have to decide whether to sell the buildings, to "mothball" them for future use, or to demolish them, but she says that's one of several issues that will be resolved in a series of community meetings about the proposal.

The earliest the PPS Board could vote on the plan is November 22.

This proposal is the latest move in a series of money-saving measures this year, including furloughs and cuts for more than 250 employees. The district is tightening its finances in response to state spending decreases for education.

Lane said the district is preparing for a deficit of $41.2 million next year.