This week is another tense one for the Chester Upland School District’s teachers, parents and 3,600 students. The district was already carrying about $10 million in debt — when it was hit with a 14 percent state budget cut last year.
Chester Upland teachers could soon be working without pay.Earlier this year the Chester Upland District warned teachers that it was running out of money because of state budget cuts and rising payments to charter schools. Teachers agreed to keep working temporarily without pay if the district couldn’t meet payroll. Pennsylvania State Education Association spokesman Wythe Keever said the District’s funding situation remains uncertain. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania did provide an additional $3 million to help the District with its payroll questions going forward,” said Keever. “Obviously that’s not enough to help the school district reach the end of the academic year.”State lawmakers have said they want to keep the District open at least until the end of the school year. Last week PSEA and the NAACP filed a federal civil rights complaint claiming that state laws are forcing the district to make artificially inflated payments to charter schools.
This disclosure, PSEA funds WHYY’s coverage of the state capitol in Harrisburg.