Pittsburgh Public Schools called out for ‘runaway travel costs'

Pittsburgh Public Schools called out for ‘runaway travel costs’

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Public Schools and its spending habits have been called out by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

A report showed a nearly 200 percent spike in travel spending, which amounted to roughly $450,000 in 2019. Money was spent on trips DePasquale said did not demonstrate any benefit for students.

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A trip to Cuba was never approved by the school board, and the district couldn't give any documentation of it, according to the report.

In addition to "runaway travel costs," DePasquale said PPS administrators are taking too many days for professional development.


"I recognize that any new spending is cause for concern in a district that is funded by taxpayer dollars," PPS Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said in a statement. "I also know that an investment in our staff development will pay dividends for years to come in improving the quality of public school education in Pittsburgh."

The district is confronting a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall and is proposing a 2.3 percent tax increase.