Parents Look to Save Elementary Schools

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Hundreds of parents in Monroe County are asking a school board to reconsider shutting down their community school due to a $12 million budget deficit.

The East Stroudsburg Area School District is looking at closing an elementary school.

Scott Amori's two children attend Smithfield Elementary School near Delaware Water Gap.

"It's about as good of an experience you're going to have for a neighborhood public school," said Amori.

A $12 million budget deficit in the East Stroudsburg Area School District could force school officials to close either Smithfield or J. M. Hill Elementary in East Stroudsburg.

Amori disagreed and formed a group called Save our East Stroudsburg Schools in hopes of preventing either school from being closed.

The group created a petition asking the board to cut positions instead of closing a school.

"We're back to the numbers in 2002, in terms of the number of students that are living in this district. We have 252 more employees in East Stroudsburg School District. I don't know why," said Amori.

Nearly 600 parents and taxpayers signed the petition which has now been delivered to school board members and the school administration.

"I appreciate the petition and will review it, but in the end it will be a financial decision, not a personal one," said school board president William Searfoss. He added he looks forward to going through the paperwork. "It would be nice if one of the letters contained information that would help close the $12 million budget gap instead of closing a school."

The board will decide which school to close at its June 4 meeting.