Parents, Art and Theater Professionals React To Scranton School District Proposed Cuts

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SCRANTON  -- The Scranton School District said it will have to lay off 89 employees in an effort to reduce a $19 million shortfall in its proposed spending plan.

Those layoffs would be teaching positions in programs such as music, art, and physical education.

It was a snowy afternoon as school let out at Prescott Elementary with youngsters eager for the weekend. But parents wonder what the future of their child’s education will be as the Scranton School District weighs the layoffs of 89 employees.

“There’s got to be something else, a way they can make some cuts, you know, not have people lose their jobs at the same time,” said parent Miguel Afanador.

The school board and those in the audience listened to a plan that would help close a $19 million shortfall in the district’s proposed budget, which must be approved by the end of the year.

The layoffs would be teaching positions in programs such as art, music, physical education, special education, librarians, and other specialty teachers.

Regular elementary school teachers would have to step in to teach those classes.

Some parents say the cuts should be made in other ways.

“The salaries are extremely high for the principals and especially for the superintendent, outrageous salaries that we are not equipped for in this community,” said grandparent Mary Belford.

“Raising taxes left and right, I mean, where’s it going?” asked Afandor.

Those who work professionally in arts and theater say those programs are just as important as math, English, and science.

Rachael Fronduti is the marketing manager at the Scranton Cultural Center and says she sees how children grow in their children’s programs.

“They learn confidence, they learn how to carry themselves, they kind of learn how to break down those walls that sometimes society puts up,” said Fronduti.

Kari Johnson owns AOS Metals just behind Lackawanna Avenue.

“Everything is affected by art. If nobody was interested in design, modeling then the world would be so bland,” said Johnson.

The school district says that public hearing on the layoffs will be held next Monday at the South Scranton Intermediate School on Maple Street.

A personnel committee meeting will be at 6:30 p.m.; the public hearing will follow at 7 p.m.


  • Robert

    Its obvious what the author conveyed although the short script may be difficult for the lazy or unlearned. His basic point is schools don’t need unionized maintenance workers employed by the school. Since unions contribute to local elections hiring from local business to do maintenance on a as needed basis will never happen but it will save money and contribute to the local economy. Pretty simple really. Not sure if I agree with the post, however I do understand the point.

  • Give up

    I’m neither liberal nor conservative, but my point stands. The above poster’s comment may have been valid in their mind, but they failed to get that point across. If you can make sense of what they texted, then good for you.

    The whole education system is the most useless and pointless taxpayer ransom, yet. Kids, like the one above, aren’t learning. They’re being indoctrinated as evidenced by the inability to make a clear statement, above.

  • Robert

    Yea, that’s what libtards do when they can’t make a valid point. Attack grammar. Giveup, give up, your without value.

  • What about the children

    How about everyone on the corrupted board take a pay cut or loose their job. I bet they would come up with the deficit real quick…. They wanted to pay all these people who didnt even work for the district then pass the bill onto the public or the elective art programs. EXCUSE ME BOARD I believe you made your bed YOU should sleep in it. I think the board should be like the pta run by the parents… I disrespect every one on the phony board.. You all should be ashamed of yourself for what you are doing to the children..


    As mentioned
    They never cut sports
    so much of our school taxes is spent on sports,
    Bussing, coach’s salary, maintenance of the sports complex and equipment to name a few.
    So they want to cut the music program, well there goes the band that plays at every event.
    But that part of the music program will never happen because it’s for the sports.

    Here’s a thought
    All band members should take a knee in protest.

  • warningfakenews

    Are they cutting back on plopping down classrooms full of kids in front of a TV to watch movies? Or the amount of days they slack off around the holidays or near the end of the school year? No, I thought not.

    • Sparkle

      There were so many times when my daughter was in 6th grade last year, I would ask her if she wanted to watch a movie, and her response was “No, that’s okay, we watched in math class already.”

  • Robert

    Perhaps it is time for the parents to move in with the kids that left the tax district and made their way despite having been raised in such an unfortunate area. That would be a interesting role reversal, and a big problem for the school district.

    • El.Ma.

      My belief is that the whole shebang be dismantled. Have local townships figure out how to educate the kids, or not. THEN the parents would become directly involved instead of producing offspring and prancing off to get their newest selfies on their FB pages. Someone will actually have to either see that their kid is educated, or they won’t. But, the taxpayers are getting screwed and the schools are turning out some of the most apathetic, narcissistic, and self-absorbed people to grace this country since its inception.

      Once upon a time, there were teachers and there were schools. The teachers and schools were overseen by their localities. Some didn’t even get teachers and schools – parents that wanted their children educated had to send them off to other towns. Otherwise, those kids remained on the farm or in the store and that was the end of that.

      Maybe, it’s time to get rid of the whole broken system.

  • El-Ma

    But, not sports. PE isn’t sports. It used to be a requirement. Remember the “President’s Awards for Fitness?” Anyone? Oh, we don’t do that anymore. Everyone gets a trophy regardless of how lazy they are.

    • Robert

      You should be ashamed of such thoughts! Sports yields such a high return to the district in the form of…..Hmmm. Help me out here. I’m drawing a blank. Anybody?

      • Flabbergasted

        Sports are important for athletic scholarships. Children learn a lot from being on a team and it keeps them busy so they aren’t on the streets becoming another number in the opioids epidemic.

    • jim

      Agreed sports need to be looked at.
      Ot for the cops , the EMT’s get paid, coaches salaries, buses ,fuel, uniforms,
      You want kids off the street parent up…you want the team building reward work with the kids around your house.
      How many sports teams are there?
      Make the cuts equal

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