About 67 percent of school districts statewide are in survival mode, according to Richard Fry, president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and superintendent of Big Spring School District.

Such districts tend to be driven by the strictest compliance of state testing requirements and the mandated curriculum standards of the core content areas, according to Fry.

He said districts statewide have shed 22,000 teaching positions since the Great Recession of 2008. While Fry did not have statistics on the breakdown of lost positions by content area, he suspects a “substantial slice” of the job loss was in such nonmandated curriculum programs as art, business education, family/consumer science, music, technology education, library science and world languages.

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