Last night, the Scranton School Board re-disorganized, keeping city Democratic Party chief Bob Sheridan as president and elevating Director Carol Oleski to vice president. As reported by Times-Tribune Staff Writer Sarah Hofius Hall, the meeting was a festive, self-congratulatory affair that included Mr. Sheridan  saying, “We all joined hands. We worked together as a team. We’ve come a long way.”

This statement seems odd, considering the district faces a a $17 million deficit in the 2017 budget, which must be passed by the end of the month. It also will carry a general fund deficit of $29 million at year’s end, perhaps the largest gap among the state’s 500 school districts. Facing financial ruin and an increasingly likely tumble into state receivership, Mr. Sheridan said the board finance committee has no meetings scheduled. 

How can this be? Refusing to study math doesn’t make the numbers go away. I proved that from the third grade through college. Math has kicked my butt since I “mastered” addition and subtraction. Multiplication laid me low. Long division damn near killed me.

If only I had Bob Sheridan as a teacher, I would have known that math doesn’t matter if you don’t mind it. I would also be living in a refrigerator box by the river, because I don’t have the luxury of spending Other People’s Money.

Mr. Sheridan does, which explains his crazy smile in the face of catastrophe. Last night , he said:  “We have a lot of challenges, but we’re willing to face them together, I have all the confidence in this world in this board and the school district. We will come out on top. I won’t let you down.”

Inspiring words for the mathematically challenged, but even a pine-riding “mathlete” like me can see that all the confidence in the world can’t erase the writing on the blackboard: The state — which just might focus outside eyes on Scranton’s most expensive game of “inside baseball” — can’t take over fast enough.