Pittsburgh Public Schools
United States
District information
TypePublic school
MottoExpect Great Things
SuperintendentWayne Walters [2]
Asst. superintendent(s)Nina Sacco, Monica Lamar, Rodney Necciai, Shawn McNeil, Patti Camper, Melissa Pearlman
School boardGene Walker
Governing agencyBoard of Public Education
Budget$668.3 million
Students and staff
Athletic conferencePIAA District 8
Other information
WebsitePittsburgh Public Schools
Board of Education's Administration Building in Oakland

Pittsburgh Public Schools is the public school district serving the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and adjacent Mount Oliver, Pennsylvania. As of the 2021–2022 school year, the district operates 54 schools with 4,192 employees (2,070 teachers) and 20,350 students, and has a budget of $668.3 million.[3] According to the district's 2021 budget, based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the combined land area served is 55.3 square miles (143 km2), with a population of 309,359.[4]


The formation of Pittsburgh's public schools in 1835 was due to the passing of the Pennsylvania Free Public School Act of 1834. This act provided government aid for establishing a city school system, which included the creation of four self-governed wards. Twenty years later, the wards were disbanded, and the Central Board of Education was founded. This board would govern the entire school district, which would consist of nine wards or sub- districts. The first city superintendent of schools was elected in 1868. In 1911, the School Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania modified the existing system to include a Board of Public education that would oversee sixty-one sub-districts and two central boards. The Public School Code (Title 22) of 1949 further regulated the provisions and establishment of Pennsylvania state schools.[1]

As stated in numerous district annual budgets, including 2021, "Although public education in Pittsburgh dates back to 1835, the consolidated District was founded in November 1911, as a result of an educational reform movement that combined the former 'ward' schools into one system with standardized educational and business policies. Initially the district was governed by an appointed Board of 15 members, but since 1976 has been governed by a nine-member Board elected by districts of relatively equal populations."[4]


In February 2006, eight underperforming schools were transformed into Accelerated Learning Academies (ALAs).[5][6] The schools had 10 days added to their school calendar and 45 minutes of instructional time were added each day.[7][8] The ALAs use the America's Choice Design Model,[9] developed by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

In March 2006, the district contracted with Kaplan K12 Learning Services to develop a single, district-wide curriculum.[10]

The Pittsburgh Promise

On December 13, 2006 Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and then Superintendent Mark Roosevelt announced an initiative called The Pittsburgh Promise. In 2008, the program became available to all graduates satisfying the criteria for a scholarship to any accredited post-secondary institution within Pennsylvania. The five to seven million dollars per year necessary to fund the program would be raised through private contributions from foundations and corporations.[11][12]

In January 2007, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers made the first contribution to The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program.[13] In 2008, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center made a $10 million donation with a commitment for as much as $90 million in additional matching funds over the next nine years.[14] Since its founding, the program has helped nearly 12,000 students attend college by funneling $170 million into fees, tuition, and living expenses.[15] In September 2023, the Pittsburgh Promise's executive director, Saleem Ghubril, sent a letter to district parents explaining that the Pittsburgh Public Schools' Class of 2028 will be the final group of students to receive scholarships.[16]

Board of Public Education of Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Public Schools has an elected, nine-member board of directors. The members serve a four-year term and represent districts within the city and the nearby borough of Mount Oliver.[17] Like all other school board members in Pennsylvania, they receive no pay.[18]

Superintendent of Schools and Administration

On July 21, 2022, the Pittsburgh Board of Education announced that Dr. Wayne N. Walters will serve as Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.[19] On August 1, 2022, Dr. Walters took over the top leadership position after serving as interim Superintendent for a 10-month period. The school district has various administrative departments: Office of the Superintendent, Student Support Services, Athletics, Human Resources, Curriculm and Instruction, Data, Research, Evaluation and Assessment, Facilities, Finance, and Law.


See also: List of public schools in Pittsburgh

Elementary schools (K–5)

K–8 schools

Middle schools (6–8) and Accelerated Learning Academies

Secondary schools, grades 9-12 and 6-12

Special schools

Charter schools

As required by Pennsylvania state law, the district funds a number of charter schools:[20]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Historical Sketch of the Pittsburgh Public Schools". Historic Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh Library System. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "Superintendent of Schools / Homepage".
  3. ^ "Facts at a Glance". Pittsburgh Public Schools. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "2021 Final General Fund Budget" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  5. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academies". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  6. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academies". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  7. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academy 2006-2007 School Calendar". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. 2006-05-01. Archived from the original on 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  8. ^ "PPS ALAs Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20. [dead link]
  9. ^ "America's Choice". NCEE Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Superintendent Roosevelt Releases Comprehensive Reform Agenda" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  11. ^ "Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Superintendent Mark Roosevelt Announce Partnership to Create The Pittsburgh Promise" (PDF) (Press release). Pittsburgh Public Schools. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2006-12-13.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Lord, Rich (2006-12-13). "City schools to promise college funds for good students". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  13. ^ Smydo, Joe (2007-01-12). "Teachers union gives $10,000 to new city scholarship fund". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
  14. ^ "UPMC Community Citizenship". Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  15. ^ Folts, Lajja Mistry, Emma (2023-10-31). "Pittsburgh Promise scholarship set to end in 2028". PublicSource. Retrieved 2023-11-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Vellucci, Justin (2023-09-22). "Pittsburgh Public Schools' Class of 2028 will be last to receive Pittsburgh Promise scholarships". TribLIVE.com. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  17. ^ "Board of Directors". Pittsburgh Public Schools. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  18. ^ "How to Run for School Board: A Guide for School Board Candidates in Pennsylvania". Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  19. ^ "Superintendent of Schools / Homepage". www.pghschools.org. Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  20. ^ "Pennsylvania Charter School Websites". The Center for Education Reform Website. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
  21. ^ "MINUTES Meeting of: March 2 1,2007" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools. pp. p.640-1. Retrieved 2007-04-26. [dead link]
  22. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-09). "City schools want to close 2 more charter schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  23. ^ "Board denies renewal of E. Liberty charter school". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  24. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-09-28). "School board votes to close Career Connections school". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
  25. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-17). "Charter middle school to shut Nov. 29". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-04-26.

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