CARBONDALE, Pa. -- It was a long, emotional school board meeting for the Carbondale Area School District, sometimes getting heated during the nearly five-hour meeting.
The school board voted 5-3 to furlough six teachers Sunday afternoon. Not everyone on the board agreed it was the right thing to do.
"The inner turmoil I face, I will vote my conscience," said Dr. Paul Kaczmarcik, board secretary.
But board president Dr. Gary Smedley says the state shoulders part of the blame.
"We as a board and administration did our part, but I said in the April meeting if you want to see our school fairly funded, contact your representative in Harrisburg," Smedley said.
The Carbondale Area Education Association says losing 10% of its staff is devastating.
"We think it's going to be absolutely devastating and is going to make it very difficult to provide a high-quality education here at Carbondale Area," said Larry Gabriel, Carbondale Area Education Association.
Parents who addressed the board say they are concerned about the education their children will be receiving.
"This is our children's future. I don't want my children stuck in 61% poverty for the rest of their lives, and I can guarantee anybody here feels the same way," said one parent.
Teachers also expressed worry for their students.
"You are completely taking the floorboards right out from under this district," said history teacher Thomas Evans.
One job was saved: athletic director and trainer, but he later shocked the crowd by offering his resignation which allowed the district to pass its budget.
In the end, six teachers and the curriculum directors were furloughed to help cut costs. The athletic director did offer his resignation, which the board accepted, and the district now has an operating budget in place for the new school year that begins July 1.