By: KDKA-TV’s Bryant Reed
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A plan to close more than a half-dozen Pittsburgh Public schools is not moving forward — for now.READ MORE: Trump-Backed Candidate Bob Paduchik Tapped To Head Ohio Republican Party
The school board voted Tuesday to table the plan one day after Superintendant Anthony Hamlet proposed it.
“I’m not against change, but it is not that simple,” said board member Pam Harbin.
Pittsburgh Public Schools in mulling over the decision to ring the final bell and shut down seven schools and close six buildings in the district. The reason? A $39 million deficit and more than 17,000 empty seats.
“We are putting a higher priority on brick and mortar and not the same urgency on academic achievement, which is our primary mission,” said board member Sala Udin.READ MORE: Police Arrest Man Accused Of Shooting Neighbor In The Arm After Dispute
The goal is to modernize the district’s footprint, but some of the school board members believe the plan needs a second look and is merely one way of closing the deficit.
“I’m not sure that our looking at one option is good enough. I think we should have two or three options that benefit the district,” school board member Veronica Edwards said.
The plan also calls for two new schools. But before starting one project, an obligation to finish another.
“We have not come up with a plan regarding opening schools,” Edwards said. “So until I see a plan that is efficient and effective with that, I cannot move into a brand-new plan.”
After running the numbers, PPS is looking to save upwards of $2.5 million.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Heavy Rainfall, Flood Watches And Warnings Issued
The school board will pick up the discussion at a later date.