April 18, 2013 9:29 am

NPE Action Alert: Allentown, PA plans to cut vital programs despite public outcry

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We have a crisis situation here in Allentown, PA. Our school board has approved a “worst case scenario” plan of cuts to vital programs, despite public outcry. A Save Our Schools Rally is planned for this Sunday, April 21,  2-4pm at Cedar Beach Park in Allentown. What follows is from the Allentown Education Association:http://allentownea.psealocals.org/

1. There is a proposed loss of 144 teaching positions. This would be a total of 350 positions since 2011.
The new 3-year AEA contract had teachers at a total freeze in the 2012-2013 school year and 3 years of concessions which was a $4 million savings for ASD.
If the district plans to cut it needs to be as far away from the students as possible, starting with central administration.
The SIG (student improvement grant) funding is gone. All 27 SIG positions must be eliminated.

2. There will a loss of over 38 CORE SUBJECT area positions at both high schools.
Increased class sizes = loss of learning potential
Increased class sizes = discipline issues and safety risks

3. There will be a loss of related arts at elementary schools.
Music will be “restored” minimally to 2011-2013 levels (meaning students will only get 9 sessions of music PER YEAR.)
Art, physical education, and library will be cut completely.
ASD plans to OUTSOURCE art lessons.

4. There will be a loss of related arts at middle schools.

5. There will be a loss of full time principals at 4 elementary schools: Lehigh Parkway, Lincoln, McKinley, and Cleveland. Every building requires a full time principal to function properly and safely.

6. All of these changes will allow for charters to flourish in Allentown! Charters have no testing accountability. They can also charge the district whatever they want. ASD will spend $17 million to pay for our students to attend charter schools in 2013!

7. The health and well being of ASD is already at risk.

8. The health and well being of the City of Allentown is at risk, if these changes occur.”