UPDATE: A $3.2 million deal has apparently been reached keep operating the cash-strapped Chester-Upland School District, a district spokesman confirmed to the The Delaware County Daily Times this afternoon.
As Ed reported last night, the entire school district is on the verge of closing down and leaving thousands of students out in the cold.
The Chester Upland School District outside Philadelphia only has $100,000 left in the bank. Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett slashed more than $8 million from the budget last year. The district, which serves one of the most impoverished populations in the state, relies on state aid for about 80 percent of budget.
Cutting public education is a top agenda for Governor Corbett. Last fall, he said his number one priority as governor is school voucher legislation.
The Chester Upland District pays more than $39 million a year to area charter schools. The charter school payments, the cut in state aid and massive debt are overwhelming. The school is unable to make payrolls or pay its bills. But teachers and other faculty are working without pay to keep the school running.
Court documents outlining the $3.2 million agreement still need to be signed by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson and filed with the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. That’s expected to happen later today.
The agreement does not end a lawsuit filed by the Chester Upland School Board against the state it rejected a request for $18.7 million in funding, saying the district had mismanaged its finances.
The $3.2 million is intended to span the gap between now and the week of Feb. 20, when district and state officials are due back before Baylson for a hearing about the lawsuit on a date yet to be finalized.