PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One board member of the Pittsburgh Public Schools says the district needs to manage its finances better.

Board member Sala Udin says the district cannot justify increasing taxes while school enrollment and academic performance are on the decline.

He also says more tax dollars will not improve student outcomes.

“My vote will be a ‘no’ vote.

“We have to give them a quality education,” Udin said. “No excuses, just a quality education. We’re not doing that, and we have to decide right now whether or not that’s what we’re going to be about.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Udin cited KDKA’s reports on Superintendent Anthony Hamlet’s unauthorized trip to Cuba, his dozens of other trips out of state and overseas, and his spending on unproven educational technology contracts as evidence that the district has gotten off course.

“To come and ask for a tax increase is poor timing at best,” Udin said.

The superintendent met on Monday with Mayor Bill Peduto to discuss, among other things, the mayor’s opposition to the tax increase. But the superintendent came and left through a side door to avoid talking with reporters.


Peduto said he told Hamlet that he will also not support a redistribution of the city’s wage tax to help the district but would work to improve education in other ways.

“We are blessed to have a city with a large corporate presence, a large philanthropic presence and outstanding university,” Peduto said. “We need to take advantage of that opportunity to enhance the education of our children.”

And Udin says by staying silent, Hamlet has not made a case for a tax increase.

“You want my vote, you got to say something,” Udin said.

The board will vote Wednesday.