In 2004, as part of a raft of legislation to rescue Pittsburgh from near bankruptcy, the state Legislature transferred a portion of a tax levied by the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education to the city.
At the time, the school district seemed to be on firm financial footing with a healthy reserve fund of around $90 million. The city, on the other hand, was sinking into financial distress and facing a $77 million hole in its budget.
But now the financial portrait of both bodies has changed -- even reversed, some say. While the city has boasted balanced budgets and bond upgrades for several years running, the school district is facing the possibility of being placed on a financial watch list by the state within the next few years if it continues down its current path.