JERSEY SHORE, Pa. -- It appears that two elementary schools in Lycoming County will remain open for at least another year.
The Jersey Shore Area School District was considering closing the two schools in an effort to reduce the more than $1 million shortfall in next year’s budget.
In two votes that ended in 6 to 3, the Jersey Shore Area School Board decided not to close two elementary schools by next year, saying it needed more time to move students and supplies out of those schools and into other school buildings in the district.
“My concern is that chiefly, I don't know if we can really be prepared by September 1 or August 28, whatever the date is the kids go back to school,” said one board member.
The board was considering closing Avis Elementary and Salladasburg Elementary in an effort to close a $1.6 million deficit in next year's budget.
The board says closing those two schools would save the district about $816,000, but in the end, members decided to keep the schools open for a least another school year.
Before the vote, parents and teachers begged the board not to close their elementary schools.
“Salladasburg Elementary isn't just a school for us. It's our home. It's home where we nurture and guide our young,” said teacher Jennifer Mariott.
“Salladasburg Elementary, Avis Elementary, Jersey Shore Elementary, the middle school and high are currently what I would want for my son,” said parent Lynsi Yohn. “The reconfiguration recommendation of the district does not offer up opportunities that I chose for Beau's future.”
“It's ridiculous that you want to put a kindergartener on a bus from all the way out past Salladasburg and send him into Jersey Shore when we have a good performing school right next door,” said parent Colin Best.
Ultimately, the room got its wish and the two schools were given a reprieve for now.
A balanced budget must be approved by June 30.