Community voices concern over proposed Halifax school cuts

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HALIFAX, Pa. (WHTM) — Members of the Halifax Area School Board got an earful from concerned community members on Tuesday night.

Parents, teachers, students, and other taxpayers used a public comment period mostly to voice displeasure with a recent report detailing pros and cons for a list of proposed staff and program cuts.

At the request of the school board earlier this year, administrators presented the report in February outlining potential budget savings and possible negative effects of cuts to programs including the marching band, as well as cutting a music department staff member, guidance counselor, business department employee, and the director of curriculum.

Additionally, administrators explored the board’s inquiries regarding increasing class sizes and subcontracting the school food service as a way to reduce the local tax burden.

Several community members accused board members of sacrificing the quality of education for students so they could keep campaign promises of lowering taxes. Others claimed several members were out-of-touch with modern education practices and a reduction in staff and programs would hinder students’ ability to succeed in higher education.

Currently, all budget proposals, including cuts to programs and staff, are considered preliminary. Budget discussions will continue, and a preliminary vote is scheduled for the school board’s March 13 meeting.

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