Watkins takes over in Chester Upland
There’s a new sheriff in town in Chester Upland. His name is Joe Watkins.
To the surprise of no one, Delaware County Judge Chad Kenney yesterday approved the petition filed by the state Department of Education to place the troubled school district back under state control and appoint Watkins as receiver.The story is here.
That means Watkins now will have free reign to put in place the recovery plan he developed to try to pull the district out of its freefall.
That plan includes closing several schools, including a couple as soon as the Christmas break, slashing about 70 jobs and likely hiking taxes.
Watkins is banking on the ability to lure students back to the public schools who have fled to the burgeoning charter schools that now educate more than half the district’s students.
Watkins’ plan has nothing on the blueprint put forth by new Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite yesterday. He plans to close 37 schools, in the process outraging parents and educators who said they were left out of the decision-making project.
We wish Watkins luck. He’s going to need it.