Scranton School Board meeting hears proposed district cuts

Scranton School Board meeting hears proposed district cuts

SCRANTON (WOLF) -- The Scranton School Board held their first meeting with Scranton School District administration since the election Thursday.

Tensions were high as the board and administration going back and forth about how to balance the nearly $19 million dollar deficit. You could hear gasps and groans from frustrated teachers as the administration proposed several cuts, including 89 teacher furloughs.

Other proposed cuts include reducing special education positions, cutting Intermediate interscholastic sports program, and transferring the district’s health care. The district says these proposals could take them down to a projected $6.3 million dollar deficit.

“My whole career is this and I live in the city and I pay taxes and we are committed to getting this district to where it needs to be. I don’t know if it will happen in our time frame, but we’re gonna try hard," said Barb Dixon, Scranton School Board President.

“We’re talking about a lot of folks losing their jobs at this time of year, this is a mess. So, no, we’re not happy, we’re very disappointed. Why are the teachers being blamed for a busing contract that’s $26.1 million dollars in the hole causing the district this disaster? We’re very upse,.” said Rosemary Boland, Scranton Federation of Teachers President.

The board says they want all of this to be reviewed by the Department of Education. PDE will allow them to pass an unbalanced budget by the end of 2017 and pass a final budget by April 2018.

Superintendent Alexis Kirijan says if these furloughs are passed, they would go into effect July 1st of next year.

The district still working on a formal, multi-year financial plan.

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