AllentownSchool District

Superintendent Parker’s Voluntary Pay Reduction: Commitment to excellence and fiscal transparency

Letterhead

April 2019


Dear ASD Community,

As year two in my tenure draws to a close, I am compelled to reflect on just how far our community has come given the fiscal and organizational challenges we faced this time last year.  Let me be candid, those challenges did not go away. We came together as a district and broader community to adapt and overcome the fiscal hurdle we encountered as we budgeted for our school year.  The declining fund balance which reflects our fiscal deficit did not dissolve last year. In fact, it grew.  Let me pause here to yet again extend a most heartfelt thanks to our state legislators for their advocacy at the state and local levels for ASD.  


While the interim support from the state helped close the 2018 – 2019 deficit, no additional revenue was obtained by the District to address the larger deficit projected for the 2019 – 2020 (see PFM report). The District also faces growing charter school expenses of approximately $58 million a year. In fact, through our fiscal partnership with CLIU 21, it was further confirmed ASD does not overspend as an organization. Rather, we have experienced years of underbudgeting in several areas. We will continue to develop additional strategies to address the deficit. This process will take time.

Toward this end, as Chief of Allentown Public Schools, I volunteer a 1% reduction in pay to demonstrate my deepened commitment as we move toward balancing a budget to open schools for the 2019 -2020 school year for the most dynamic students and families I call my own.

While my efforts pale in comparison to the fiscal mountain we as a community must overcome, let this salary reduction serve as a symbol of our commitment to excellence within our district.

Sincerely,
 
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Thomas E. Parker
Superintendent, Allentown School District