School board approves realignment plan

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Above: Oliver High School will close June 30, 2012.

Last night, in a near-unanimous vote, Pittsburgh Public School board approved the district realignment plan that will close seven Pittsburgh schools, including the Northside’s Oliver High School and Northview PreK-8. 

The plan was proposed this summer to decrease a projected $21.7 operating deficit for the 2012 school year and a projected $100 million deficit by 2015.

“We’re trying to make the best decisions we can under the circumstances,” said District 2 representative Dr. Dara Ware Allen. 

Oliver and Northview will officially close June 30, 2012. No plans have been announced for their buildings.

Oliver students will be reassigned to Perry, which will become a partial, rather than a full magnet. Northview students will be assigned to King PreK-8 and Morrow, which will be expanded from a PreK-5 to a PreK-8. 

One of the few dissenting voices regarding the realignment plan came from District 8 representative Mark Brentley, who opposed the closing of Northview because of the good condition of the building.

“Somewhere, we have to find a way to remind poor, primarily African American schools that they matter,” said Brentley, who told the board closing Northview did not make sense, but supported the reassignment of Oliver students to Perry. 

At a public hearing on Monday, Diamond Kyte, a junior at Perry High School, supported the plan to keep Perry open and reassign Oliver students.

“Perry High welcomes Oliver students with welcome arms,” she told the board. 

Last night the board also approved the sale of the Ridge Avenue building in Allegheny West, though several board members questioned the process of community engagement.

The board also approved a one-year extension of Propel Northside’s lease for the Columbus Building on Brighton Road.

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