Scranton School District budget battle concern

Scranton, Lackawanna County (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The Scranton School District has six more weeks to pass a balanced budget. 

Wednesday evening the discussion on where to save continues before their March 5th board meeting. That's when they are expected to make costs saving measures, again. 

With normal business at the school board committee meeting. All ears were on what's going to be cut from students. 

Scranton School directors held a committee meeting Wednesday night. The Financially strapped district is trying to figure out how to pass a balance budget. 

The state recently shot down the administration's plan to layoff 51 teachers. The district says they will go ahead with the planned furloughs. Now some students want to keep sports off the chopping block. 

Eyewitness News reporter Cody Butler, what's it like to stand up for what you guys really believe in as students? Brett Miller says "It makes me and all my friends happy of ourselves for being able to come out here and support."

"It make school so much more fun, like, to look forward to. Basketball and softball practice or game after school," said Isabella Gigliotto, seventh grade student. 

In the 2018 budget proposal in December seventh and eighth grade baseball, softball boys and girls basketball would be cut. Officials are trying to avoid that, saying, sports motivates a lot of students to attend class. 

"If we restructure at the sub-varsity level you would be able to save enough money and it wouldn't directly effect the student athletes," said Rick Bresser, Athletic Director, West Scranton High School.

Bresser has the job to save the district money in seventh and eighth grade sports. At the meeting he proposed more ideas that could save up to $20 thousand. 

"those are raw numbers. They're just estimates based on what we spent last year and the 15-16 school year," said Bresser. 

Bresser suggests the district look at baseball and basketball competing in league games only and in basketball cut adult playbook and score keeping and more. 

My kids play sports, but what sports to my kids, music is to someone else. And art is to someone else. It's about passion," said Stacey Miller. 

At the meeting a presentation was shown where the district will be five years. Right now the Scranton School District deficit is looking to be around $4 million. By 2023 it's expected to be at $22 million. The finance committee suggest they start planning now and that cutting transportation costs would save them overtime. 

The Board will hold a meeting on March 5th at Northeastern Intermediate School. 

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