Thomas Parker needed to come up with $10 million, and he was almost out of time.

It was June, and Parker, superintendent of the Allentown School District, had already erased $18 million of a staggering $28 million budget deficit through a combination of cuts, a planned tax hike and transfers from district reserves.

The final $10 million would be the most painful and could involve furloughing teachers — hundreds of them.

It was an option Parker did not want to take, considering the district had eliminated more than 400 positions since 2010.

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