Allentown Schools Cut 151 Jobs, Hike Taxes 8.2 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown School Board approved a final 2013-14 budget Thursday that spares full-day kindergarten and most elementary school related arts positions but cuts 151 jobs, sending a ripple effect throughout the district.

School directors voted 5-4 to adopt a spending plan that slashes 127 teachers, 14 administrators and 10 maintenance/custodial workers from the district’s payroll.  The cuts are accompanied by an 8.2 percent tax increase and a $10 million contribution from the district’s savings to keep the district afloat for another school year.

The only change to the $242 million budget was elimination of two vacant administrative positions — director of special projects and director of professional development.  That decision saves about $200,000.

Full-day kindergarten and elementary school music, art and gym teachers, originally in jeopardy of being cut, are retained in the final budget.  But the district will eliminate all five of its elementary librarians along with 19 middle-school related arts teachers.

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Allentown Students To Wear Uniforms Next School Year

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Allentown is the fourth largest school system in the state with nearly 18,000 students.

All Allentown students will be required to wear uniforms next school year under a plan the school board Education Committee approved Thursday.

The committee voted 8-1 for uniforms after hearing a presentation from Superintendent Russ Mayo, staff and students.  The board will formalize the committee’s decision at its Jan. 24 meeting.

The colors and styles of the shirts, pants, belts and shoes have not been decided for students.  Nor has the administration worked out the consequences for students who do not adhere to the uniform.

Those rules will be presented to the committee on Feb. 14 with a board vote to follow later that month.

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Allentown School District Moves Closer To Student Uniforms

Allentown charter school students wear them. So do Catholic school students. Now, Allentown School District students could one day wear them too.


The school board’s Education Committee on Thursday again scratched the itchy subject of requiring student uniforms. But unlike uniform debates that have taken place in the last decade or so, this one seems more real as anger and frustration boils over scantily clad students who ignore the district’s unenforceable dress code to either act sexy, defiant or think their particular style is just fine.

A growing number of school directors, administrators, students and teachers voiced strong support for establishing a mandatory, homogeneous clothing style for schools, beginning in September 2013 for elementary schools, 2014 for middle-schoolers and 2015 for Allen and Dieruff high schools.

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