Harrisburg City School District Approves Budget With Massive Layoffs

The Harrisburg City School District board of control has approved a tentative $136,000,000.00 budget which slashes 137 jobs to fill a $22,000,000.00 shortfall in the budget!  95 teachers, more than 40 support positions, 66 non-certified emergency teachers, 2 assistant superintendents, 1 principal and 10 central office positions.  I think they forgot the partridge in a pear tree.  The staff cuts only make up 1/2 of the $22,000,000.00 shortfall.

Staff cuts are expected to come from the most recently hired according to Rich Askey, President of the Harrisburg Education Association.

The Harrisburg School District has 8000 students and 1200 faculty and staff.  There are 15 schools in the district.  Harrisburg High School has a very high drop out rate (21%).  Harrisburg City School District is consistently ranked at the bottom of Pennsylvania’s 498 school districts.  In 2009 the district was ranked 496th!  The district is in Corrective Action II, 7th year.

Things could be much worse!

Huge Idol Finale Tonight! Will Simon’s Departure Overshadow The Winner?

There is so much in store on tonight’s American Idol finale!  Many guest appearances from past season contestants and winners and special guest stars like Hall & Oates, Chicago, Joe Cocker and Janet Jackson.  Even Miss Paula Abdul is slated to pay a visit to send Simon on his way.

I hope that Simon’s farewell doesn’t take away from the winner.  Not that Simon doesn’t deserve the mother of all send-offs but whoever wins will have to share the spotlight with Simon.  It seems like there should have been a special farewell show dedicated to Simon after the competition is over.  This is a lot of pack into one two-hour show!

American Idol Showdown

Last night’s American Idol contestants, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, held their own in the last round of competition.  I tend to like Lee better personality wise but looking at them musically they are about evenly matched.  You may like one better than the other, or like one style better than the other, but at this point in time I would not say Crystal is breezing into victory as predicted earlier in the season.  Lee has certainly been the most improved contestant this season and is “in it to win it”. 

Whatever happens, they can both hold their heads high and say they gave it their all.  Good luck to Crystal and Lee!  You are both winners in my book!