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PLUM, Pa. (KDKA) – The Plum School District is embroiled in yet another controversy.

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More than 100 parents showed up to the Plum School Board meeting on Tuesday night as the board debates whether 25 teachers will be laid off.

These parents are particularly worried about two teachers, who teach students with autism and special need students.

“I’m very angry, parent Tami Bell said. “These kids they just don’t understand they have a lot of difficulties and we need those teachers to be with them.”

“The autistic kids are probably ones In the Plum School District who should remain with the same face,” parent Sheila Masi said. “They have issues with attachments and abandonment.

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“At the end of the day, this is all about money,” parent Pete Batdorf said. “And they’re using it against the kids who need help the most.”

The board has tough decisions to make. The district is facing a $5 million budget deficit.

“We’re going to look at whether we need to make further cuts or raise taxes to balance the budget,” board president Steve Schlauch said.

There was even talk about whether to offer retirement incentives to more teachers to save jobs.

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“Further retirements could help close the deficit,” Schlauch said.

David Highfield