Dariah Jackson, a Stetser Elementary School teacher in the Chester Upland School District, wrote a compassionate submission as a guest columnist in today’s Delaware County Daily Times making the case to support public education in the city. 

She points readers to a webpage that explains the latest court order that opens the district up for a charter school take over. 

I’ve had a few questions about that order that are answered on this webpage. Here’s a brief recap of the 10 questions they address on that page.

WARNING: You’re probably not going to like my abridged answers so visit the webpage to read their complete answers and come to your own conclusions.


What does it mean that the Chester Upland School District is in financial recovery status under receivership?

Since 2012, almost all of the decision-making power of the locally elected Chester Upland school board was transferred to a Receiver.

Why is the Chester Upland School District in financial recovery? 

Limited ability to raise local revenue; heavy reliance on state funding; and the district pays 44% of their budget to charters schools. 

What is the plan to solve the financial problems in the Chester Upland School District?

The Receiver submitted a proposed financial recovery plan in 2019 making dozens of recommendations including outside management of schools or converting some district schools to charter schools. On May 14, 2020, the court issued an order approving the plan and authorizing the Receiver to move forward with Request For Proposal processes. All authorizations must be approved by the court. 

Will district employees lose their jobs if work is privatized or schools are converted to charters?

Yes.

When will the Receiver determine whether the district will contract with outside management, outsource services, and/or convert schools to charter schools?

Who knows?

Will a charter school conversion improve student achievement?

Who knows?

Will a charter school conversion save money?

Yes.

Will school district programs continue if schools become charters?

Who knows?

When will the elected school board regain control of the school district?

Who knows?

How can I have my say about the future of public schools in Chester Upland? 

Members of the community can make their voices heard by contacting their school board members (who have almost no decision-making power) and attending public meetings when they are announced.

Check www.psea.org/savechesteruplandschools for more information and dates for public meetings.