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Hundreds come out to voice concerns about Scranton School District budget cuts

Residents voiced their opinions Monday night about proposed cuts in the Scranton School District.

On Monday night, hundreds packed an auditorium in Scranton to voice their concerns about the proposed cuts in the Scranton School District.

Leaders are trying to balance a nearly $19 million dollar deficit.

Tensions were high during the meeting at the city’s intermediate school.

The meeting allowed concerned teachers, students, and community members to voice their concerns about the proposed cuts.

One of those voices was Scranton High School student Jacob Eiden.

“What happens when they cut these programs? What’s it gonna be? The Scranton High School and the Scranton School District isn’t going to be what it once was if they cut these programs the kids aren’t going to learn effectively," Eiden said.

The district is proposing many cuts including reducing special education positions... cutting Intermediate interscholastic and sports program.

The district says these cuts would bring that deficit down to about $6.3 million dollars.

That doesn’t sit well with Judy Laske, who has four autistic children in the district.

“They’re taking away ten teachers with the special education and they’re going to replace them, I guess, with regular education teachers and they can’t do that. They have to be certified through the state of Pennsylvania in Special Education," Laske said.

A student band played in the hallway outside the auditorium for much of the meeting.

The music and arts department could also suffer due to budget cuts.

Eiden is in the drama program.

“I just think it’s ridiculous that they’re trying to cut our programs that we raise money, we put our own dedication into. They don’t do anything for us. They don’t provide us with anything, it’s not fair," he said.

89 teacher layoffs are possible under the proposals.

It's possible that would go into effect on July 1, 2018.

“My children had the best teachers in the world and I will fight tooth and nail to keep their jobs for them," Laske added.

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