Chief Recovery Officer Addresses Scranton School District

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Scranton School Board got to hear from the district's chief recovery officer who was appointed by the state to oversee the district's financial recovery.

Dr. Candis Finan addressed a big crowd gathered at Scranton High School Monday night.

Finan will now helm an advisory committee that was selected at Monday night's meeting. That committee will work to get district out of its nearly $28 million debt.

Finan says this is expected to be a five-year plan.

People packed into Scranton High School for their first opportunity to hear from the woman tasked with bringing the district into financial stability.

Finan, a former educator, says the district is facing a $27.7 million debt.

"I will be working with your superintendent and administration to build a roadmap to assist the school district in its journey toward the development of a cost-effective quality educational program for all students," Finan said.

Finan was given this position, which is paid for by the state Department of Education, after a scathing report by the auditor general's office called the district the worst financially run in the state.

At the meeting, the board selected an advisory committee that will be helmed by Finan and consists of two board members, a principal, and a business official.

The other large concern at the meeting was the possible closure of some elementary schools as a way to save money.

"I feel that it's unacceptable to be quite frank with you. There has to be another way to financial recovery other than closing down our village, our community," said parent Justine Callahan.

However, Finan says no serious discussions have been held by the board on school closures.

"That may be an option. It is not an option this evening," Finan said.

Finan says the advisory committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday evening from 6-7 p.m. at the district's administration building. It is open to the public.

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