Mar 26, 2018

The Allentown School Dilemma

The Allentown School District has projected a $28 million dollar shortfall in the 2018-19 budget. A professional cost cutting firm has recommended various cutback strategies, none of which will help with the educational challenges faced by the district.  A local informed citizen, Lisa Zezoney, suggested on social media;
No disrespect meant here but maybe the people on the school board should have their eyes on their present jobs rather than where they want to position themselves in the city...this deficit is a surprise.

Despite its relative small size and quaintness,  Allentown has the large city urban school problems faced across the country....A poor population in need of better schooling.   The building boom in center city has not translated into significant higher tax revenue for the school district.

This blog has declared Ray O'Connell the new mayor, well before the official decision in early April.  With O'Connell being a former school administrator,  any benefit that can be realized by more cooperation between the district and city is likely.

this blogger attended Jefferson Elementary School shown above


Scott Armstrong said...


The best way for any new mayor to help the school district would be to pay attention, code and zoning wise, to our neighborhoods. Clean up the housing stock, inspect and enforce existing codes and ordinances. This would have the duel edge effect of improving rental units and reducing overcrowding. The annual rise in poverty must be stopped and reversed if the school district is to have any chance.

By the way, the school district has been on a 4-5 year spending spree with hires it couldn't afford. They chose to ignore projections of future deficits. That was just plain irresponsible.

Fire the incompetants said...

PFM's half-baked remedy will not even come close in closing the gap. This hypothetical report, built on pipe dreams and supposition, will never see fruition on most of their points. It was complete waste of money in which the school board and their new Superintendent wanted to deflect the criticism of a failing school district.

As far as Mr. O'Connell's new initiative on a cooperative venture between the school district and the city, where is he going to get the money to support such an effort? I agree that the new revitalized construction on Hamilton Street, has not produced the desired results in relation to school tax revenue, however, who are you going to tax in the ghetto to make up the difference?

On paper, this theory sounds great, but in reality, it will never work!

Scott Armstrong said...

There is no quick fix for the school district that the city alone can affect! End of story! It took years of city neglect to get us to our sky high poverty rates it will now take years to reduce those numbers even if their is the political will to do it. Don't count me as optimistic on that.