Scranton Teachers Rally Before School Board Meeting, Demand to Know the Future of Their Jobs

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Teachers in the Scranton School District were out in full force, rallying outside Scranton High School before a school board meeting on Monday.

They were there to vent their frustration at school officials, demanding the district make it clear exactly which teachers will be out of a job come this fall.

The district had planned to furlough 51 teachers at the end of this school year in an effort to balance its budget for the 2018-2019 school year.

But the teachers’ union says 99 furlough letters were sent out.

“99 furlough letters went out, many different numbers have been thrown out, numbers in the 50s, numbers in the 40s,” said teacher Steve Bartnicki. “Nobody knows who's going to have a job in September under this plan.”

“There's some letters that went to the non-tenured teachers and those letters say you will not be renewed,” said Rosemary Boland, president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers. “And then the tenured were told they'll be called back as needed more or less.”

The teachers union says the letters did say the teachers could request a hearing with the district and says all 99 teachers are taking up that offer.

“That's where John Audi comes in, the attorney they hired just for this particular issue and so we still don't know who is being furloughed,” said Boland.

Teachers here say with all this uncertainty about their future has them putting their lives on hold.

“People are putting off buying homes. They're putting off starting a family. It's just creating total turmoil for students and teachers alike,” said Bartnicki.

And along with the furloughs the district is also doing away with all its librarians.

“Library in 2018 has been eliminated in a public school system. I find that incomprehensible,” said teacher Patrick Festa.

The teachers union says as of now no hearings between the teachers and the district have been scheduled.

5 comments

  • J (@ds18301)

    To all who think teachers are “greedy.” Do the math (if you can). 5 years of college for most (because you have to do a major + all the mandated education classes), five years of lost wages during that time (you can’t take a full college load and work full time unless you want to extend it to 7 or 8 years). Lets see: (5*50k) for tuition + (5*30k) + 20 years of student debt interest (100k). That makes at least $500,000 to go into teaching. Let’s also consider that in many areas these folks can make 2 or 3 times the money they make teaching in industry. Now let’s consider that every time someone’s “little angel” messes up, it’s the teacher’s fault, the countless meetings, clubs, grading, class prep, parents who are out of control and oh yeah, the good chance you might just get shot at…. You don’t need to go much further than these pages to see the price of not investing in teachers and education. Pay one teacher a fair wage to teach hundreds or pay more than a single teacher’s salary to house just ONE prisoner.

  • comment375583328

    The teachers have painted themselves into a corner because of their greed. Either agree to the cuts or the state will assume control of the district with much more drastic cuts.

    • J C (@JC48081275)

      No one enters the field of education planning to be the complaint of taxpayers for the rest of their career. These young people go to college wanting to make a difference. They graduate with master’s degrees, and student loan debt, they make sacrifices, and spend money from their own paychecks on other people’s kids. Its as shame that society paints these hard-working professionals as “greedy” given all they do and all the crap they put up with. They have no control over how their salaries are funded.

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