On Tuesday, August 25th, 2015, Judge Chad Kenney of the Court of Common Pleas in Delaware County, PA ruled against Chester Upland School District’s demand to keep $24 million with which it reimburses charter schools as funding and in favor of the continuing existence and operation of 22 PA Charters and 8 Cyber Charters that serve and educate more than half of Chester Upland’s students.
For more general information, please consult our blog.
For more information on the first hearing pre- and post-date, see the following articles:
On Thursday, September 3rd, Judge Kenney ordered Chester Upland School District and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to submit a Financial Recovery Plan and status report on the development of the Plan by the next hearing on Wednesday, September 9th. The judge's rule demanded the school district and Department of Education to further include a time frame for the Plan and answers to 41 proposed questions. To see Judge Kenney's 11-page rule, please click here.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer's "Pomp and tough circumstances in Chester Upland" from September 2, 2015, Kathy Boccella explains that the Chester Upland school district and the charters serving Chester-Upland-district students opened school with frozen state financial aid, leaving teachers and staff working without pay until a state budget plan is approved. However, this budget plan cannot be determined and set in motion before the court case concludes.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer's "LETTERS - Sept. 3," James Paul of the Commonwealth Foundation writes that "charter payments are a matter of state law - not something to be arbitrarily slashed at a governor's whim." Paul argues that special-education-charter students will suffer from Wolf's support of Chester Upland—the school district that Wolf himself cited as "'failing its students'" and being "'mismanaged'" for 25 years. Read Paul's "Wolf's war on choice" here.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer's "State gives $5M to pay Chester Upland teachers" from September 10, 2015, Kathy Boccella explains how, at the hearing on September 9th, Chester Upland’s business manager, Karen DeShullo, claimed that the district would accrue $88 million in state subsidies this school year contingent upon the approval of Wolf’s budget proposal. She then disclosed that the district would run out of money by March or April 2016 and still remain in debt for the start of the 2016-2017 year despite the possibility of receiving millions in subsidies or a cut to its charter-reimbursement bill. The state gave Chester Upland School District $5 million to pay its 300+ teachers and staff for the time being until a conclusion is reached.