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Scranton School District budget battle continues

Scranton, Lackawanna County (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The Scranton School District has less than a month to pass a balanced budget. 

Monday night the board held its last meeting before the March 28th deadline by the state to submit that budget. As the district is on the home stretch they are still nearly $4 million in the hole. Monday teachers expressed their concerns over decisions the board has made to knock it down from $18 million. 

In the 2018 budget proposal last year 89 teachers, that's the number of layoffs the district started with. In December the board voted to reduce that to 51 teachers.
At the meeting tonight that number is now being raised to even more than originally proposed. 

"All I know is, that we have 98 people furloughed from the Scranton School District," said Rosemary Boland, President of the teacher's union. 

Boland says she received 98 letters addressed to teachers who would be laid off. The board says despite what the union claims they are sticking to their original number. 

"Ultimately if these suspensions were to go through, they will not exceed 51," said John Minora, District's Solicitor. 

Last month the Pennsylvania State Department of Educations SAID the layoffs are a violation of the state school code and the board must give adequate notice ahead of the layoffs. Which the board says it has done. 


"Whether or not our budget date was January or March. That's the only thing in question," said Dr. Alexis Kirijan, Superintendent of the District. 

Librarians, health, physical education, and music teachers say they are being unfairly targeted and students will suffer if these positions are cut. 


"Over the three years of middle school sixth grade through eighth grade, students will be missing 180 classes which is a full school year of health and PE," said Stephanie Lynch a health and physical education teacher.


"It's also the union of parents and students CUE! coupled together who are still asking you to reconsider," said Patrick Festa, Teacher at McNichols Elementary School

  


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