Community members are demanding answers for the Sayre Area School District’s proposed budget cuts.
On Monday night, tensions were high in a meeting that lasted several hours. The community discussed the District’s proposed budget cuts, saying many teachers and programs would be impacted.
Hundreds turned out for the school board meeting to voice their concerns regarding the District’s proposed budget cuts. The cuts are geared towards eliminating a number of educational programs including family and consumer sciences, foreign languages, band, music, chorus, and art among others.
The Sayre Education Union says these proposed cuts would leave more than a quarter of the school’s teachers facing furloughs.
After hours of questions, comments, and even tears from audience members, the school board did not provide definitive answer and left audience members unsatisfied.
“It’s very irritating to not get an answer,” 9th grade student, Jacob Watkins said. “I want my teachers here and they are not even giving us any answers.”
As college admission requirements continue to grow tougher, many feel that the cuts could impede the future success of students at Sayre High School.
“My parents have always wanted me to have a bright future and go to colleges, like Penn State, and that’s where I want to go,” 7th grade student, Brandon Chandler said. “But, without these languages and reading and library and all that stuff, I’m not going to be able to do that. If they take away this stuff, they are practically taking away the stuff that I need to get to a college like that and it could ruin my future.”
Bill Trump, a teacher who could be impacted, released a statement saying: “It saddens us greatly to see that our elected school board members are considering furloughing up to 25% of the educational staff. These are hardworking teachers whom the students count on. Unfortunately, while we offered our cooperation in the beginning, the district has been very tight lipped about the entire process. We really have no idea why the District is making such a drastic move.”
As for what comes next, the District says the community will have to wait for answers.
“Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will have to make some decisions one way or another,” Superintendent of the Sayre Area School District, Sherry Griggs said. “We are certainly going to take the comments that we heard tonight under advisement. We respect the passion that was shown for, especially by the students, heartwarming stories and comments about how much they love their teachers.”
The district added that the budget cuts will not impact June’s graduation and would not be in effect until the 2017-2018 school year.
Stick with 18 News as more details become available and the district releases its official plans for the budget cuts.