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Teacher speaks out on layoff notices

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 05 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 06 2012 11:27:45 AM CDT

Teacher speaks out on layoff notices

READING, Pa. -

For dozens of teachers and their students in the Reading School District, Tuesday was an emotional day.

Just before noon, several teachers received notice that their positions would be eliminated.

One of those teachers is Lacey Kerchner. She has taught kindergarten for the past two years at Northwest Elementary School in Reading.

"I was pretty much devastated, as getting this job, at this school, in this district, was my dream job," said Kerchner.

Officials said the layoffs are necessary to help the district close a $40 million deficit.

"Furloughs are going to come. Teacher furloughs are going to happen," said Yvonne Stroman, school board president. "We're going to have to, you know, in terms of maximizing our dollars, it's going to come on the backs of some of our teachers and support staff sadly."

Lacey said she is not angry with the school district, but with Gov. Tom Corbett who has proposed an $18 million reduction in funding to the Reading school district.

"I'm very angry at Gov.Corbett. I think he has an agenda, and I think it is to corrupt public education, and I think he's well on his way to do so as a matter of fact," said Lacey.

Corbett has indicated repeatedly the budget cuts are necessary to help make ends meet without raising taxes.

He also has explained that he cannot restore education funding to previous levels because the money from the economic stimulus package has run out.

Corbett defended his economic policy at a meeting with Reading business leaders last month.

"We will spend no more than we receive in revenue," said Corbett.

Lacey said her fight is not over yet. She said she, and other teachers, will take their message to Harrisburg for a protest next Wednesday.