Bensalem School Board passes budget with a 6-3 vote

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Bensalem School Board passes budget with a 6-3 vote. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on June 14, 2017.

The Bensalem school board met Wednesday night to decide the fate of several programs.

Students rallied together outside Bensalem High School ahead of the school board vote on the district's budget.

The proposal includes cuts to 34 staff members, 24 of them certified teachers.

The school district is facing a shortfall of just under 8 million dollars.

Bensalem Superintendent Dr. Samuel Lee said, "There may be some re deployment of our resources specifically teachers, but we've thought long and hard about what we're doing and how we're doing it."

The superintendent says among other issues they face cost increases from pensions, charter school tuitions and special education costs. And they need help from the state.

"This tidal wave of unfunded mandates and expenses that challenge us, and take dollars and resources away from our kids is unsustainable," Dr. Lee said.

There was a victory for elementary students protesting music and arts cuts originally proposed in May.

They won them back tonight.

During public comment, people also expressed concern over the restructuring of a number of programs like English as a second language, and science, technology engineering and math or stem.

The budget has a zero percent tax increase. Some parents argue they are willing to pay more in taxes.

"The average household would be raised 92 dollars which is less than a price of coffee a day. I would pay that twice over," parent Meghan Krevolin said.

The superintendent says people can reapply for their jobs if they have proper certification, but there is no guarantee.

Also, enrollment of some programs affected their decision to restructure.

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educationpennsylvania newsbudget cutspublic school
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