Our focus must be on…


Difficult decisions and drastic measures have allowed the district to adopt structurally balanced budgets in the 2020 and 2021 years.  While we cannot diminish the losses that have been endured, a brief period of austerity will strengthen the district for many years to come.


Whether the district shows a robust fund balance or 9-figure debt, expenditure control must remain a focus of good governance. Systemization, policy enforcement and diligent monitoring of costs and resources will maintain financial stability.

Student Achievement

Our students and educators continue to work tirelessly to achieve their goals during the COVID-19 pandemic but we must stand ready to address the learning losses that will have been a result of these unprecedented circumstances. From facilities improvements to social-emotional and curriculum supports, we must view every initiative and every decision through the lens of student achievement.

Since 2017, the District has:

Strengthened its financial position by

  • eliminating the need for costly borrowing to balance annual budgets
  • establishing an unassigned fund balance for the first time since 2012
  • realizing increased state support through empowerment funds, block grants and redevelopment dollars

Monitored, developed and complied with policy by

  • committing to expand public access by recording and distributing all meetings
  • limiting contract extensions to ensure that bids, quotes and proposals are sought on a regular basis
  • maximizing state and federal subsidies by following required guidelines

Addressed long deferred facilities needs by

  • identifying and remediating environmental issues
  • mitigating future challenges with regular monitoring and maintenance
  • creating a structured capital needs plan to fund and address ongoing improvements to modernize our buildings

Increased communication and collaboration with all stakeholders by

  • convening community advisory committees to broaden our perspective on various issues
  • issuing regular public statements and making information available in multiple languages
  • cultivating relationships with city and county leaders through the shared services committee and other working groups

Worked to restore public trust by

  • seeking oversight from state officials in rooting out the issues that led the District to face potential receivership
  • appointing professionals with the skills and expertise to manage the daily operations of the District
  • considering the priorities of our community as we navigate difficult discussions and decisions


Looking forward, Katie plans to:

Continue the hard work required to support the recovery process and stave off receivership while advocating for fair funding, charter school reform and other initiatives that enable equitable opportunities for all students by

  • assessing all options and making decisions that will benefit the long-term solvency and sustainability of the District
  • collaborating with advocacy groups, state legislators and the community at large to support proposed increases to public education funding
  • serving on the Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s Legislative Advisory Committee, providing feedback throughout the legislation and policy development process and sharing insight on issues that impact the District

Apply best practices in governance to streamline and strengthen our systems and processes while supporting efficient and effective management of our District by

  • facilitating professional development for school board directors through the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and other resources
  • ensuring practices and protocols are well documented to enhance continuity in board operations
  • maintaining a strong committee structure so that directors are well versed in each area of focus and can effectively communicate information to the public

Monitor and assess the progress of changes made to improve our educational outcomes, from math and reading supports in our elementary schools to transportation for our high school students by

  • updating parents and the public throughout the year on how our students are meeting and exceeding educational benchmarks
  • modeling the practices of the Reopening Educational Advisory Committee as we assess student needs during the return to in-person instruction and beyond
  • ensuring that healthy educational environments are equipped with resources for teaching and learning that meet 21stcentury standards

Maintain collaborative partnerships with city and county officials and with community organizations helping to meet the needs of our students and their families by

  • serving on various committees including the City’s Tax Policy Working Group,Lackawanna County Land Bank Advisory Committee and the Joint Operating Committee of the Career Technology Center
  • communicating our students’ skills and challenges so that programs and initiatives may be aligned with our goals
  • exploring opportunities to expand our resources through cooperative agreements, grants and an educational foundation

Maximize COVID relief funds to mitigate learning loss, maintain healthy environments for all students and staff and ensure long-term impacts from these one-time dollars by

  • investing in resources that can be used year after year and in programs that can be sustained beyond the life of these funds
  • collaborating with our community partners to avoid duplication of efforts or to pool resources to accelerate our achievements
  • thinking creatively to attract and retain students with exciting and engaging academic and extra-curricular programs

Donations may also be made by check. Please make checks payable to Friends of Katie Gilmartin and mail to:

Friends of Katie Gilmartin
1525 Capouse Ave.
Scranton, PA 18509

No Corporate Donations can be accepted.  Donations above $50 require a name and address, donations above $250 require a name, address and employer.

Paid for by Friends of Katie Gilmartin