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James E, Ellison, Esquire Aitomey LD. No.: 81372 Harrisburg School District Oifice of Solicitor 1601 State Street Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17104 INRE: APPOINTMENT OF A : IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS RECEIVER FOR THE OF DAUPHIN COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, HARRISBURG SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 2019-CV-3960-MD : CIVIL DIVISION RESPONSE TO PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A SI HARRISBURG SCHOOL DISTRICT AND NOW COMES HARRISBURG SCHOOL DISTRICT (“District”) by and through its solicitor, James E. Ellison, Esquire, and files the within Response to Petition for Appointinent of a Receiver for the Harrisburg School District (“Petition”) filed by Pedro A. Rivera, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (“Secretary Rivera”/*Petitioner”). The opening preamble to the Petition notes Secretary Rivera’s request for the appointment of Dr. Janet Samuels as Receiver for the District due to its alleged “failure to fulfill key initiatives in a financial recovery plan unanimously adopted by its board of directors, approved by the Secretary of Education, and prepared consistent with the statutory obligation to provide for the delivery of effective educational services to all students enrolled inthe District”. The preamble also sets forth a summary of the alleged recovery plan failures which are more fully set forth in the Petition. While the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure requires no response to preamble averments, the District nonetheless specifically denies these averments and incorporate its responses below into said denial by reference. Further, the District notes (for purposes of this response) that in addition to seeking. relief via appointment of a Receiver, the recovery plan upon which Secretary Rivera premises this action also compels him to take official action to “transfer Distriet-educated students to schools under external management effective for the 2019-20 school year” pursuant to scetion 642-A of Act 141, subscetions (2), (7), (11), (12), (13), (16) & (18) concomitant with such appointment. Notwithstanding Page 1 of 31 ~ the foregoing and in response to Secretary Rivera’s Petition, the District states as follows: 1. “Admitted 2. Admitted. 3. As they are entirely premised upon interpretation of and compliance with the Public Schoo! Code of 1949, the averments contained in paragraph 3 constitute conclusions of law to which no response is necessary. To the extent a response is deemed required, each averment set forth in paragraph 3 is specifically denied. Proof thereof, if relevant, is demanded at the time of hearing, during which the District will establish by clear and convincing evidence that the petition for appointment of a receiver is arbitrary, capricious, or wholly irrelevant to restoring the school district to financial stability. By way of further answver, as the “Amended Plan” referenced in paragraph 3 is a written document, which speaks for itself, Petitioner's characterization thereof is expressly and specifically denied. The District hereby affirmatively represents that it has performed its statutory obligations under the Financial Recovery Law as well as the Second Amended Plan passed by its Board of Schoo! Directors on May 31, 2016 as confirmed by Exhibit 8 of the Petition, and substantially (if not fully) complied with all directives issued by its assigned chief recovery officers related to the governing recovery plan applicable during their respective tenure. 4. As they are entirely premised upon interpretation of and compliance with the Public School Code of 1949, the averments contained in paragraph 4 constitute conclusions of law to which no response is necessary. To the extent a response is deetned required, each averment set forth in paragraph 4 is specifically denied. Proof thereof, if relevant, is demanded at the time of hearing during which the District wil establish by clear and convineing evidence that the petition for appointment ofa receiver is arbitrary, capricious, or wholly irrelevant to restoring the school district to financial stability. The District hereby affirmatively represents that it as performed its statutory obligations under the Financial Recovery Law as well as the Second Amended Plan passed by its Board of Schoo! Directors on May 31, 2016 as confirmed by Exhibit 8 of the Petition, and substantially (ifnot fully) complied with all directives issued by its assigned chief recovery officers related to the governing recovery plan applicable during their respective tenure. Page 2 of 31 5. As they are entirely premised upon interpretation of and compliance with the Public Schoo! Code of 1949, the averments contained in paragraph 5 constitute conclusions of law to which no response is necessary. To the extent a response is deemed required, each averment set forth in paragraph 5 is specifically denied. Proof thereof, if relevant, is demanded at the time of hearing, during which the District will establish by clear and convincing evidence that the petition for appointment ofa receiver is arbitrary, capricious, or wholly irrelevant to restoring the school district to financial stability. ‘The District hereby affirmatively represents that it has performed its statutory obligations under the Financial Recovery Law as well as the Second Amended Plan passed by its Board of School Directors on May 31, 2016 as confirmed by Exhibit 8 of the Petition, and substantially (if not fully) complied with all directives issued by its assigned chief recovery officers related to the governing recovery plan applicable during their respective tenure, 6. As they are entirely premised upon interpretation of and compliance with the Public School Code of 1949, the averments contained in paragraph 6 constitute conclusions of law to which no response is, necessary. To the extent a response is deemed required, each averment set forth in paragraph 6 is specifically denied. Proof thereof, if relevant, is demanded at the time of hearing, during which the District will establish by clear and convineing evidence that the petition for appointment of a receiver is arbitrary, capricious, or wholly imelevant to restoring the school district to financial stability. The District hereby affirmatively represents that it has performed its statutory obligations under the Finanefal Recovery Law as well as the Second Amended Plan passed by its Board of Schoo! Directors on May 31, 2016 as confirmed by Exhibit 8 of the Petition, and substantially (if not fully) complied with all directives issued by its assigned chief recovery officers related to the governing recovery plan applicable during their respective tenure, 7. As they are entirely premised upon interpretation of and compliance with the Public Sehoot Code of 1949, the averments contained in paragraph 7 constitute conctusions of law to which no response is necessary. To the extent a response is deemed required, each averment set forth in paragraph 7 is specifically denied. Proof thereof, if relevant, is demanded at the time of hearing, during which the District will establish by clear and convincing evidence that the petition for appointunent of a receiver is arbitrary, capricious, or wholly irrelevant to restoring the school district to financial stability. The District hereby Page 3 of 31