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Superintendent Says Pittsburgh Public Schools Planning For Next Year Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet says the district is already planning for next school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He says there is still a lot of uncertainty about what the 2020-2021 school year will look like and a lot of effort is being expended on finishing this school year.

They are also working on distributing and adding 7,000 additional laptops and iPads for students to do remote learning.

Financially, expenditures are higher than budgeted because of all the remote learning costs.

Revenues are down because most businesses and real estate transactions have been shut down; therefore, there's a lot less income from those tax streams.

The district CFO Ron Joseph says that adds up to the possibility that the district could face a $92 to $96 million deficit by the end of the year.

"Based on the guidelines that come down from the feds and the state, we may have to go to some sort of "A-A" day where some students come in on Monday, some students come in on Tuesday, some students come in on Wednesday, or a combination of blended learning in between," Dr. Hamlet said.

Another issue that could create problems is busing. Some are saying students should only sit one to a seat on busses when school resumes in order to observe social distancing.

If that is enacted, it would create a significant shortage in an already tight fleet of busses and even more in a dwindling pool of school bus drivers.

The district is also working on doubling enrollment for summer learning opportunities and working on making sure the schools are ready whenever the kids and teachers are allowed to go back.

Dr. Hamlet says it is too early to know what school will look like after COVID-19.

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