SCRANTON, June 23, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) and State Rep. Marty Flynn today announced that the Scranton School District has been designated in Financial Watch Status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).
The legislators were joined at a news conference in Scranton earlier today by Scranton School District Superintendent Dr. Alexis Kirijan, Scranton School Board President Bob Sheridan and Chief Financial Officer Gregg Sunday to discuss the implications of the designation and the actions PDE will likely undertake as a result of the designation.
“The entire purpose of the Financial Watch Status is for PDE to provide additional technical assistance and guidance to the district so the school board and the administration can better navigate difficult financial circumstances,” Blake said. “This designation will allow Scranton School District to make the best decisions to protect the interests not only of teachers and students, but for all citizens of the City of Scranton.”
Blake noted that the Financial Watch Status designation announced today is a standard procedure under PDE’s Early Warning System. Reports of financial data by the Scranton School District and other indicators necessitate this action by PDE under current statutes and regulations.
PDE sent a letter on Friday to Scranton School District to inform administrators of the designation and outlining the criteria which necessitated this PDE action. The Financial Watch Status designation is the third level of PDE’s Early Warning System.
Through the designation of Financial Watch Status, PDE will provide technical assistance to Scranton School District to help address its financial challenges. It will also conduct an independent review of the financial condition of Scranton School District.
“I am confident that through the direction of the PDE advisors and the Scranton School District leadership – together with the support of Senator Blake, myself and our elected and appointed partners – the best interests of our students, teachers, support staff and taxpayers will be served as we move forward,” Flynn added.
Blake said that in other circumstances, such as last year in the City of Erie where the school district was put under Financial Watch Status, additional state support for the district was awarded in an attempt to relieve fiscal distress.
Click here to read a copy of the letter that was sent earlier today to Scranton School District.
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