ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Allentown School District has given the go-ahead for a so called "worst case scenario" budget that cuts 144 teaching jobs. And it's sparking an outcry from teachers, parents and students. The School Board has until June 30th to make a final budget decision, but right now they need to fill a $22.5-million shortfall.
At Thursday night's Allentown School Board meeting President Robert Smith told the packed crowd he would try to find money before the district's budget deadline. 69 News has learned Smith sat down Friday with State Senator Pat Browne to talk numbers. Other lawmakers are also paying attention.
"I think we'll be able to get more then what was originally budgeted," shared State Representative Michael Schlossberg.
He says the Allentown School District has been forced to do more with less. According to him, Governor Corbett's state budgets have cut school funding year after year.
"At what point do we as a government say our teachers and our children are worth paying for, it's the most backwards policy I've ever seen."
Schlossberg has his own ideas for how the funds can be found. To him education is the silver bullet, when funded properly he says it can alleviate many problems..
"I'm gonna be working with the rest of the Allentown delegation, certainly with Senator Browne to try to find every dollar that we can," added Schlossberg.
Something many teachers, parents and students would be happy to hear.
"The reason most kids like going to school is because of all these activities," said one student. "I love school and I feel like taking these away is like taking away one of my best friends."
"Gym keeps kids from being obese, did you know that one out of every five kids are obese, that's not good," explained another student.
"I'm cautiously optimistic that more money will be there," said Schlossberg. "But it's a struggle every year, it always is and there's certainly are no guarantees."
Allentown, PA 18102