WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Crestwood School District Superintendent Joseph Gorham unveiled a 'Worst case scenario’ plan to a packed board Thursday night, which includes laying off 13 teachers.
"In the midst of a financial crisis, in the midst of gloom and doom and then, here we go again every time there is a financial crisis,” “said Bill Kane, a teacher and head of Crestwood Education Association.
A crowd of nearly 300 people packed the meeting to hear the district's plan, which includes restructuring the elementary system: making the district's Fairview campus kindergarten through 3rd grade and the Rice campus 4 through 6th grade with pre-kindergarten classes, too.
"This would balance out our buildings, currently issue that we face is Rice is overcrowding. We have about 150 students more there than we do at Fairview,” said Gorham.
Board members say the budget deficit and overcrowding are problems that are forcing them to make tough decisions.
That includes potentially laying off more than a dozen teachers, including a Spanish teacher, a home economics teacher and tech education teachers, too.
“I put my trust into the teachers, in the administration and into the school board and to know that I have to be here and to work for the things that I should be given as a student is sad,” said Abby Reilly, a Crestwood student.
"I have been so excited to get to wood shop and to get to the tech program because that's what I want to do with my life, I finally get to it and now I'm hearing it's going to be cut next year, I can't go back to it, it's done,” said another student.
School officials say they do not want to lay off any teachers, and they are considering other options, but they say tough decisions will have to be made.
Parents, teachers and students say they want to be involved in that decision making.
"I don't see you doing what you are supposed to do and showing my children is most important,” said a parent to board members.