No More Kindergarten at Crestwood?

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FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP -- Big spending cuts could be headed to another school district in Luzerne County.

The Crestwood School District in Mountain Top may eliminate kindergarten because of a budget deficit of $1.2 million for the upcoming school year.

While most of the roughly 500 public school districts in Pennsylvania offer kindergarten, it's not mandated by the state. In Crestwood, school leaders want to plug the hole in the budget, and need to find savings somewhere.

"It is nearly impossible for the local tax base to support educational spending, it's just not possible," said Crestwood School District Superintendent Joseph Gorham.

School leaders suggest private schools or home schooling, but that's just not an option for some families.

"How many parents can afford? I can't afford private schooling and what about the working moms? They don't have time."

One woman who recently moved to Mountain Top from Florida has a 6 year old who is preparing to go to kindergarten in the fall. She says that if she had known the district is thinking about cutting kindergarten, she may have reconsidered moving here.

Crestwood School District leaders blame their budget deficit on a state funding formula they call unfair.

"Pennsylvania needs to make a decision. Are we going to be in public education or are we not?" Gorham added.

In addition to eliminating kindergarten, Crestwood is also considering some teacher layoffs and cuts to other programs. The budget for the upcoming school year is due by the end of next month.

14 comments

  • Platas

    I don’t mind paying taxes for education. I do mind paying taxes and seeing the school district that charges the most property tax in the county ranking in the bottom third in the state school ratings( Hanover Township). I to am educated but when you look at what teachers pay and benefits are (ie: Health Ins, retirement, sick leave, personal days off and reimbursement for further education, that gets them more money and only working approx. 184 days a year before you deduct their paid days off) and compare that to the median household income in the area it is a travesty. Our children deserve the best we can provide but it is obvious it takes the family, teachers, and community to do this. Throwing more tax payers dollars at this situation just makes it more lucrative for a hand full and doesn’t provide our children a better education. The bigger the dog gets the more food he demands!

  • Dave

    Why are kindergarten parents bearing the burden of Crestwood’s budget deficit? The idea of removing Kindergarten 3 months before it is start is ludicrous? Based on the comments of the school board, they must own or have interest in local daycares and private school because this move is going to make these programs cost more. One hundred plus kids needing to continue or start their education, and the local pre-school and private school systems not being prepared for or rushing to put programs in place is going to drive up prices for, again, the kindergarten parents. If the school board goes through with this strategy, they won’t be their after the next local elections.

  • JoAnne Shiner

    Why aren’t you blaming the state? The funding is unfair and every year the amount gets lower. We also have to continue to pay into the teachers retirement fund and every year that fund goes down, because of the stock market. Why don’t we stop allowing teachers to retire with at least 60% of their pay after so many years , plus healthcare is paid for until age 65? Our tax base can’t sustain this anymore, and since we can’t get anywhere with the teachers contract, there are no other options. I feel all schools should do this and maybe the state will take more responsibility.

  • Gerald Filtz

    >>”It is nearly impossible for the local tax base to support educational spending, it’s just not possible,” said Crestwood School District Superintendent Joseph Gorham.<<
    What Gorham is really saying is: "We can't afford to educate our children. We demand that other people be taxed to pay for their education."

  • John

    We recently moved from “the valley” to Mountain Top because of the family environment and schools and our son is scheduled to start kindergarten this Fall and we just registered him a few weeks ago. I am absolutely shocked by this and have no idea what we are going to do if they cancel it because we cannot afford private school and starting 1st grade will mean our son will be very behind academically. This literally makes me sick.

    • Jay

      John. I feel your pain. I am in complete shock. Six months ago I moved my family ( which includes three boys four and younger) from Danville to Mountain Top. I spent months agonizing over finding a new home. First and foremost was a good school district for my children in this crap hole of north eastern PA….The goal was to move closer to my employer in WB, so the best options were Dallas or Crestwood. We found a home in Mountain Top six months ago and this news is enough to make me want to throw up.

  • Disgusting

    Where’s all the money??? Taxes are already to damn high… These administrative people are destroying the budget with their salaries and who gets paid? Kindergarten kids! Maybe this will be the thing that’s Crestwood parents’ noses out of the air…probably not…

  • JenG

    Talk about moving backwards…instead of into the future of education. Not to mention the trickle down negative effect of this drastic measure for students and employees. Archaic idea Crestwood!

  • Fed up

    Give me a copy of the budget and a red pen. Not only can I make it work I am sure there will be a surplus. Joe Taxpayer can’t pay anymore. Time to stop the wasteful spending and let’s see if all those administration positions are absolutely necessary. Stop feeding us bull like we are idiots. Let’s get back to education instead of landscaping these buildings to the nines and get rid of some of those 6 figure salaries in the front office!

    • Think It Through

      Agree 100%. At this point there isn’t a teacher in Pennsylvania that can convince me they care about kids.

      • T R

        Can this convince you? I know a teacher who digs into her own pocket to buy socks and shoes for her student because the child complains his are too tight. I know a teacher who puts 3 bags of pretzels in her shopping cart during her weekly shopping trip so she can give her students a snack before dismissal because she is unsure of the next time they will eat. I know a teacher who would meet a kid in the library over the summer break and tutor them math, asking nothing in return. I beg to differ, there are educators out there who “earn” their paycheck. Sadly, their efforts are underrated because our government cannot prioritize education and our futures. Don’t blame the teachers. Don’t blame the administrators. Blame a government and society that no longer values or believes that investing in our kids in turn, invests in our own futures.

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