Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse called for the ouster of Gene Veno as chief recovery officer for the school district in Pennsylvania's capital.
"My concern is that Mr. Veno does not believe Harrisburg schools will meet academic benchmarks under the plan he devised. This is unacceptable and compromises the future of our children," Papenfuse said in an April 3 statement.
Papenfuse also said he supports the application of Key Charter School to open a school in the former Bishop McDevitt High School site to stimulate an overhaul of the city's school district.
The mayor asked acting state education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq "to bring more energy and a new vision" to the district.
A message seeking comment was left with the state agency.
State officials late in 2012 declared Harrisburg's school system in "moderate financial recovery" and named Veno to the position. Earlier the district's deficit reached $16 million.
Earlier that year, Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law calling for intervention systems for early detection of financial strain and the crafting of financial recovery plans. Moody's Investors Service at the time called the law a credit positive.
The district's preliminary 2014-15 budget projects a $1.1 million deficit, but according to the Patriot-News, officials told the local school board called the deficit manageable.