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Deadline Clock Ticking for Scranton School District’s Balanced Budget

WEST SCRANTON -- The clock is ticking on the Scranton School District.

After announcing the layoffs of dozens of teachers, the district still has a multi-million dollar gap and less than two months to adopt a balanced budget.

With a looming deadline to approve a balanced budget for 2018, the Scranton School District continues to tighten its financial belt.

At a Budget and Finance Committee meeting at West Scranton High School Monday night, the district's assistant business manager updated the school board on where it stands with regard to closing a multi-million dollar gap in its $161 million tentative spending plan.

Through reducing costs of transportation and other vendors, the deficit has been brought down from $4.5 million to roughly $3.8 million.

“An amendment from the December 28 meeting,” said Laffey. “There's some minor adjustments to it and we're in the next 55 days. We have to figure out how to balance that $3.8 million deficit, and there could be potential for borrowings involved. We don't know at this time.”

The district was put on financial watch by the state after an audit found years of wasteful spending.

Last week, some board members asked the Lackawanna County District Attorney's office to look into some of that spending, including why a mechanic contracted by the district was given school health insurance for himself and his wife for more than a decade.

“The district attorney's office has been contacted by this board and that you want the monies returned,” said Rosemary Boland, the president of the teachers’ union, Scranton Federation of Teachers. “You're not the only ones that want the monies returned.”

The district has also announced plans to furlough 51 teachers and all librarians to help close the deficit.

“I never thought I would be up here talking,” said Scranton High junior Erika Aguilar, as she addressed the board. “I also never thought that my favorite teacher would be in jeopardy of losing her job, but I guess the unthinkable can happen.”

Newswatch 16 did contact the district attorney's office to see if it would be looking into the school district's financial history but did not hear back.

13 comments

  • Cowboy

    Cut back on teacher’s salary, they only work 6 months out of the year making $70,000.00
    BINGO money saved!

  • Cowboy

    Get rid of school lunch, kids can bring their own lunch like we all did in the 60’s and 70’s.
    BINGO, money saved!

  • Drain the NEPA Swamp

    Years of waste and corruption is finally catching up. Time to clean house with these teachers. If you’re not performing well and getting results time to leave. It’s also time to stop paying teachers throughout the summer. Where do they get off thinking they should earn a paycheck when they’re not working? Get a second job if you’re not working and want money.

    • Rusty ButterKnife

      Well, they don’t really “get paid” during the summer months. Their 60K annual salaries are supposed to cover those months IF they spend their income wisely. Seeing as I bring in 1/5 of that income AND I have to pay $400 a month in health insurance with no hope of investments or any type of vacation, these Greedy Smurfs can rot.

  • Teecher

    The chickens have come home to roost. Years of bleeding the taxpayers are coming back to bite the school district in the ass. All the choreographed speeches and crocodile tears will change nothing. Good!

  • Rusty ButterKnife

    aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!! Tick tock tick tock tick tock

    How about the scandalous mismanagement and corruption? Is that facing a time schedule, as well?

  • mopar driver

    Back to the original firing plan that “somehow” got derailed and cut down when that was not a viable option? Good leadership , Maybe if they axe themselves in favor of more intelligent. skilled and less expensive replacements ? Or just open the bar and hope it will go away on it’s own ( current plan)?

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