YORK—The numbers are in for York City schools and the results aren't good. Last night, the school board voted in favor of huge cuts to staff and programs.
The board decided to cut 150 staff positions and raise taxes by five percent. The challenge was to close a $25 million hole left behind by the Governor's proposed budget.
With a $25 million deficit, everything was on the chopping block for the School District of the City of York. The final vote came last night.
"We're going to work hard and give the kids here in York City the education that they deserve," said Acting Superintendent Eric Holmes during a March interview.
The school board voted 7 to 0 in favor of cutting almost 150 staff members, including 90 teachers. Along with the staffing cuts, the district will lose programs like physical education, art, music and librarians at the elementary levels. Other positions like teacher aides and security staff will be cut as well.
"You can't take 130 teachers out of a district which is roughly 25 percent of the staff and it not have a detrimental effect on the students," Holmes said.
The acting Superintendent of York schools warned of changes on the horizon back in March. With all of these cuts, the taxpayers aren't being spared either. The budget calls for a tax hike of over five percent. That means homeowners with a place valued at $100,000 will pay over a $150 a year more.
"I'm calling on the employees of our public schools, administrators, teachers, support workers, everyone, to hold the line," said Governor Tom Corbett during his State of the Commonwealth.
Back in March during the State of the Commonwealth, the Governor called on teaching professionals to take a pay freeze to help during these tough economic times. Staff in York heeded that advice. Administrators and teachers agreed to a pay freeze saving full-day kindergarten for the district's youngest kids.
The furloughs go into effect July 1. According to reports, administrators are already meeting with many staff members about their status for next year determining who will and won't have a place come August.