State seeks takeover of Harrisburg schools

The Associated Press
Flanked by state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, left, and state Sen.-elect Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, right, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera visits Dover Area High School, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s Department of Education is asking a judge to put the Harrisburg School District into receivership.

Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera filed papers Monday seeking the order in Dauphin County court.

Rivera’s also asking that the court appoint Janet Samuels as receiver.

Samuels, the former superintendent of Norristown Area School District, is currently the state’s chief recovery officer in Harrisburg schools.

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A receiver takes operational control of the district, and assumes all the powers and duties of the school board, except the power to impose and raise taxes.

Harrisburg schools have been in financial recovery status since December 2012. Two other school districts, Duquesne City and Chester-Upland, are currently in receivership.

The court has seven days to hold a hearing and then 10 days to consider an initial three-year receivership.