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Susquehanna parents meet over 'downward spiral' of schools - abc27 WHTM

Susquehanna parents meet over 'downward spiral' of schools

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
A number of parents, teachers and other residents in the Susquehanna Township School District are concerned about what they describe as a "downward spiral of education, non-responsive school leaders and falling property values in the district."

According to the group, veteran teachers and quality students have been leaving the district. Within the last several years, they said excellent teachers have left their positions at the district's elementary, middle and high schools.

Several of those teachers spoke at a public meeting held Tuesday night, telling parents what led them to leave Susquehanna.

"There is a huge lack of discipline," one former teacher said. "There's a lack of support for the teachers and it comes from the administration."

Some parents have also become so disheartened that they have sold homes in the township and moved to nearby districts, according to the group. Others have pulled students from Susquehanna to attend private schools.

Bonnie Finnerty is one of those parents.

"It is time we parents and taxpayers reclaim our voice in the district and unite as a community. We need to move beyond the grocery store conversation and Facebook exchanges, to a real meeting where we can exchange concerns, ideas and possible solutions," she said.

Finnerty removed her children from Susquehanna Township schools to attend private schools.

The group is also concerned about an upcoming school board vote to extend two assistant superintendent contracts two years before they expire.

"The school board is clearly not acting in the best interest of township residents by holding this meeting; and it would be completely irresponsible and bordering on malfeasance for the board to consider extending the contracts of the assistant superintendents for any length of time given the serious problems facing the school district," said township resident Peter Speaks.

Finnerty and Speaks said they believe the school board will be voting on the contract extensions Monday night. They urge anyone concerned about this to attend that school board meeting.
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