Statement by Harrisburg School District Chief Recovery Officer Gene G. Veno
As the new Chief Recovery Officer for the Harrisburg School District, I pledge to work hand-in-hand with the Harrisburg community, including individuals and the many important groups, such as churches and civic organizations, the school board and superintendent, educators, administrative staff, building employees, students, unions and state officials. Our goal is to enable the Harrisburg schools to offer every student the best education possible, an education that every child, from kindergarten to 12th grade, deserves. My belief is that HSD can grow and foster excellent education. The development of a recovery plan for the HSD will be a collaborative and open process.
While the district is currently in “Moderate Financial Recovery,” we should look at this as an opportunity to improve the education of our students in ways that will create many new life changes and rewarding experiences to best prepare them for college and the workplace environment! We want them to succeed, to go on to college or trade school, and to secure good jobs. These students are the key to the future.
To that end, we will bring in a team of experts to study all aspects of the district, from academics and extracurricular programs to building functions and viability, labor contracts, technology, and security, along with revenue and expenses. The goal is to offer a sustainable road map for the Harrisburg School District to go forward to success.
As an educator, former school board member and businessman, I’ll bring my skills to bear on the issues facing the district and will look for solutions to an array of problems, including stubborn budget deficits, lackluster academic achievement and low graduation rates. An advisory committee will also offer insights and recommendations.
Under Act 141, I’ll develop the HSD recovery plan in 90 days from the date of my appointment as Chief Recovery Officer on Dec. 12, 2012. During that time I’ll hold public meetings and seek advice from all stakeholders. I’ll also ensure the district receives the full benefit of the process, including technical and financial assistance from the Commonwealth.. The school board will then have 30 days to decide whether to accept the plan.
I also pledge to be open, fair and honest with the school board, superintendent, parents, students, employees and the wider community. The answers may not be easy, but I’m certain if we work together in good faith, we can help our children succeed and the Harrisburg School District to thrive.
The above statement provided by Office of the Chief Recovery Officer for Harrisburg School District.