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West Scranton Intermediate Students Rally Outside School Board Meeting

SCRANTON -- Students from West Scranton Intermediate School marched around the Scranton School District's Administration Building Wednesday as a board meeting got underway inside.

Chanting, “Students first,” they came to protest the possible loss of programs including arts, music, and athletics.

“I decided to come out tonight to help the prevention of the sports and arts being cut because I really don't want that to happen because they mean a lot to me,” said seventh grader Isabelle Gigliotti.

“It would be boring to only have to go to core subjects and that would be the only thing we would have to do in school,” said seventh grader Brett Miller.

As the children chanted outside, inside the board was getting an update from the firm helping to fix its finances.

With roughly a month to go before the board must adopt a balanced budget for 2018, the district is still looking at a nearly $4 million shortfall.

The firm told the board the district needs to stop with one-time fixes and cannot completely erase its deficit with cuts to academic programs.

“The district cannot eliminate its structural problem with reductions to academic programs,” said one of the presenters from PFM.

But there was some promising news for athletics.

The West Scranton Athletic Director believes they could save $14,000 to $20,000, which would cover the cost of baseball, softball, and basketball at the seventh and eighth grade levels.

“The money that would be saved would be money cut from positions like score keepers, or filmers, or information like that. That would be where your savings would be,” said Athletic Director Rick Bresser.

The board had voted to furlough 51 teachers but was told last week by the state that the move may violate school code.

The board says it is currently looking into that issue.

“The state said that they're not allowed to. The superintendent sends out a memo that they were anyway and in typical Scranton fashion, they kind of do what they want anyways,” said parent Rebekah King.

The superintendent says the county has offered a grant to help pay for athletics at the intermediate schools.

A balanced budget must be approved by March 28.


  • jim

    How about saving money at the high school level on athletics?
    Start at the top to save money….superintendent and some of the other administrators taking some cuts and giving back. Scale back on sports. Pensions and benefits can be looked at also…but the higher ups need to give back these are the decision makers and probably had a hand in creating this mess.

  • Tebow

    With the Lackawanna Tax hikes and ridiculousy high amount we all pay every year, you would think we could fund anything at any dollar amount for this County. You can look around the County and see they are not using all of that money to pay for city upgrades and upkeep, so I ask, are the people in power spending the money on themselves or are they laundering it through other channels?

    • Follow The Money

      Of course, it’s a matter of where that money is going and who’s authorizing the funneling of that money. Follow it. Always follow the money. Typically, it goes all the way to the top and into union hands. Follow it.

      Teacher strikes? I say………all parents out there, take your kids out of public schools and send them to private schools. Private school teachers make a fair salary for the work that they do, and they take intense pride in educating instead of warehousing students. The parochial school that I graduated from saw every graduate – every one – going on to higher education with some going to Ivy League institutions. Not bad, all things considered.

  • PSU Baby

    It’s awesome these kids are speaking up! Congrats! It’s good to see these parents are keeping the kids off social media for a period of time!

  • Chamber Potts

    What adult made all of those signs for the little agitators ? Aren’t they good little snowflakes / future socialists in lock step with the NEA being used as pawns ? Isn’t that nice

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    The Democrats are using the kids as meat puppets again, I see. Don’t worry, Demmies – I’m sure you’ll get your tax increase.

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