POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) As the school year came to a close in the Pottsville area 14 teachers either retired or resigned.
In a cost cutting measure, the school board decided to leave all but two of those positions vacant — drastically impacting art, gym, guidance, and reading programs. “Children are not numbers, they are not dollar signs, they are kids and that’s what they were when they were elected. That’s what they were supposed to be protecting,” teacher and parent Amy Babcock said.
However, a surprise move came from the administrative team Wednesday night, as that group decided to forgo their raises for one year in order to keep a music position in the middle school.
“We have had to make some cuts which were very difficult not only for the administrative team but the school board as well and save as many positions as we could,” Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Zwiebel.
“We do appreciate the fact that there will be a deficit with the new budget, but our main concern is the students and the education they receive,” PASD Education Association President Diane Howe said.
In all, 3 of the 14 vacant positions will be filled, which is more than the crowd expected. Many of the programs affected by the cut backs will be restructured.
“Two grade leveled per counselors would mean that we would not have one to one individual time as much as we should with our students,” Director of Counseling at PAHS, Michelle McGinty said.