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.