The Jim Thorpe Area school board voted to demote and eliminate certain positions within the district at Monday night's meeting. Members of the faculty also voiced their concerns on how the hard economic times will affect educational programs.

Six positions at both the elementary level and the high school level were demoted from full-time to part-time. Three positions that were grant funded were eliminated.

"Moving positions from full-time to part-time shows the seriousness of the financial issues that are currently taking place in Pennsylvania," stated Superintendent Barbara Conway.

"This is a difficult time financially and it's affecting people all across the state," she said.

These demotions and eliminations will not be the only hard decisions that will need to be voted on due to the financial struggle.

The district is looking at the biggest parts of the budget, which are faculty costs and facility costs. The district is looking into which areas to cut back to create a workable budget for next year.

High school English teacher, Trudy Miller voiced her concerns that along with staff cuts, educational programs could also be cut. Other schools in Pennsylvania have cut programs such as art and music. Jim Thorpe teachers are concerned about this happening in the district as well.

"I hope sincerely that the school board makes all efforts to work with the teachers. We have a good school and we have good programs," Miller said. She asked the school board to work together with the teachers to keep from losing educational programs.

Conway stated, "We are not eliminating any programs."

"Hours in some programs are being cut but the programs themselves are not," she said.

There are still concerns that staff demotions and eliminations will affect the educational programs.

High school librarian, Dr. Jean Bickel, is concerned how library staff cutbacks will affect the library program, since this program is one of programs being affected.

"I worry that the faculty cuts will seriously impact the library program," stated Bickel.

In the past school year the high school library has had 674 class visits, almost 3,000 study hall visits, and almost 3,000 book sign outs. The library is busy every class period of the day and may not have the proper staff to run it, said Bickel.