Clock still ticking in Chester Upland
But make no mistake. The clock is still ticking on the Chester Upland financial timebomb. It’s just been reset. The $3.2 million a judge ordered released to the district will get them through the end of the month, or maybe a week or two into February. Then what?
Residents will get another shot to air their concerns when state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester holds a public meeting that will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the Chester Fine Arts Center East, 17 E. 17th St., in Chester. We’ll be there to cover it.
Next week there will be two meetings focused on Chester Upland.
State Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, the former mayor of Chester, will hold a public hearing on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Chester Upland Administration Building.
That will be followed by a hearing held by state Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, of the House Appropriations Committee at Widener University. Adolph is the majority chair. That means he controls the purse strings when it comes to state funding.
In the meantime, Kirkland has fired off a letter to state Auditor General Jack Wagner asking for an audit of the school district finances.
In particular, Kirkland points out that former state Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak said back in March 2007 that the school district was back on solid financial footing after more than a decade under state control.
While they lost a round in court, both Gov. Tom Corbett and his Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis have indicated they are dead set against another financial bailout of the district.
One thing no one is talking about. What happens if in fact the district runs out of money and closes its doors.
What happens to the education of 3,700 students. It’s never happened before, and it does not seem as if anyone knows exactly what would happen if it happens in Chester Upland.
Maybe it’s time to have that discussion.