Thursday, August 27, 2015

2 big questions loom for Chester Upland

There are two big questions looming over the Chester Upland School District this morning.

Parents and children have to still be wondering what will happen when - or maybe the correct word is 'if' - schools open next week.

The other is something the district has been dealing with for decades. What is the answer to the district's fiscal woes.

All of this is part of the fallout from this week's court ruling that saw a Delco judge reject the state's attempt to radically reduce charter school reimbursements.

State officials, including Gov. Tom Wolf and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, had made it clear they were not sure if Chester Upland would be able to open without the changes they sought. And even if they did, they warned it was entirely possible the red ink the district is awash in would force them to close the doors before the end of the school year.

The district is looking at a $23 million deficit, one that state officials believe could balloon to $40 million by the end of the school year.

Wolf said he was disappointed in the ruling and is mulling his options at this point in terms of an appeal.

Here is today's update with reaction to the court ruling.

And here is our editorial. The answer to Chester Upland's woes likely lies in the Legislature, and changing the formula used to reimburse charter schools that was part of the original law that created charter schools.

Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen anytime soon. How are those budget talks going?

In the meantime, the children and families of Chester Upland continue to suffer.

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