Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A double-header in Chester Upland

They will be holding something of a double-header in the troubled Chester Upland School District today.

First, state officials and charter school proponents will return to Delaware County Court to continue yesterday's marathon hearing on the state's plan to reduce reimbursements to the charters for special education students.

Yesterday the state spent hours presenting their case before Delco Judge Chad Kenney. The state's latest financial recovery plan for the district includes a forensic audit of the district books, appointment of a financial turnaround specialist, but most importantly a huge reduction in reimbursements for special education students in charters.

Currently, Chester Upland pays a little more than $40,000 for every special education student enrolled in the charter schools. The state plan would reduce that amount to about $!6,000. They say the move, coupled with a change in cyberschool caps, would wipe out Chester Upland's $23 million deficit.

Today attorneys for the charters schools will present the argument against the state plan.

Then both sides will await Kenney's ruling.

Tonight hundreds are expected to pack a meeting where the state-appointed receiver will talk about the plan with the Chester Upland School Board. So many people are expected they had to move the meeting to the high school auditorium. It starts at 6.

We'll be there to cover the story every step of the way.

In the meantime, we also have guest columns today from both sides.

For Chester Upland's view of special education funding, click here.

For the charter school's position, click here.

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