After much debate, the Allentown School Board has approved a controversial budget plan.
“Pathways to Success” is a new budget proposal by the Allentown School District. It’s a massive overhaul that would get rid of 247 teaching and staff positions.
Teachers, students, parents and other residents shared their thoughts on the plan during a special meeting Thursday night.
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“I see it as a pathways to confusion and pathways to marginalizing a lot of students,” said Edward White, a parent of one of the students in the district.
500 people attended the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the auditorium of the South Mountain Middle School.
Many of the attendees spoke out against the school board’s proposal.
“Taking away the 247 jobs but then saying that we need to add teachers sounds like complete hypocrisy,” said Joshua Reesey of Allentown.
The School District proposed the plan as a way to close a 28 million dollar budget deficit. The cuts include 121 high school and middle school teachers, 84 preschool and elementary school teachers and 42 support staff members.
“I don’t want to be without gym because we do a lot of things in gym and its really fun,” said a concerned 3rd grader during the meeting.
Despite the opposition, all nine school board members voted for the proposal.
Final approval must be made by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education before the layoffs take place.