Scranton School District Weighing Its Options, Could Close up to Six Buildings

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Scranton School District's chief financial recovery officer laid out the options at a meeting Tuesday night.

In order to deal with crippling debt, school leaders may have to close and sell buildings, reshuffle classes, make staff and transportation changes.

"The only people that suffer, honestly, are the kids and the teachers. I don't know. Scranton has to get it together," said Jasmine Haylock of Scranton.

One option is closing Bancroft, Robert Morris, and Whittier Elementary Annex, plus the district administration building.

Another possibility is closing the administration building, Adams, Bancroft, McNichols Plaza, Prescott, and Whittier Elementary Annex.

"It makes me sad because this is one of the better schools I believe in the area. All three of my kids have gone here and they love the teachers. The teachers are wonderful. They all live in the neighborhood. Everyone knows each other," said April Cleveland, whose children attended Robert Morris Elementary.

"It hurts my heart because my daughter loves this school and we moved around quite a bit. It's kind of hard and she's only 6 so, she loves her friends and her teachers so to hear that this school might shut down, is devastating," said Haylock.

Grades could be shuffled to different buildings, too.

School leaders stress none of the plans are set in stone.

The state would review plans and the board would have to approve them, but school leaders say something has to be done soon.

"The kids are our future as the saying goes and us to know education and to have those resources is something we really do need in life," said Dee Valdora of Scranton.

If the school board decides to close school buildings, board members say that would not happen for a year or more.

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