ERIE, PA—Saying the cost-cutting measure was vital to ensure its continued operation, the cash-strapped Erie School District announced Thursday that it had furloughed hundreds of nonessential children. “Until the district’s fiscal health has improved, we have no choice but to put 800 of our least necessary children on an involuntary leave of absence,” said superintendent Jay D. Badams, noting that the group of furloughed students included a relatively equal number of children between kindergarten and 12th grade who were considered the lowest priority for retaining in their classrooms. “We obviously hope to re-enroll these students when and if financial circumstances permit, but for now they will remain on leave indefinitely, receiving no credits during that time. We wish them the best of luck should they decide to seek an alternate education.” Badams went on to say that he was cautiously optimistic, however, and that a furloughed 6-year-old would likely be able to continue first grade by the time he or she turned 10.
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