Chester Upland School Supporters Against Outsourcing | news


MEDIA – State Senator Anthony Williams, D-8 of Philadelphia, whose district includes Delco Towns, stood in District Court Saturday leading a crowd of 50 singing, “Chester Profiteers, We’re Picking You Up!”

On Saturday, parents and teachers from the Chester Upland School District and Delco Resists held an educational justice rally outside the Media Courthouse after offers to take over the district’s schools were presented to the Delaware Common Pleas Court. In addition to Williams, Sens. Tim Kearney, D-26 from Swarthmore, and John Kane, D-9 from Birmingham, who has an office in Chester, also attended.

The participants called for a fair distribution of educational funds and a meaningful compliance with the Fair Funding Formula, instead of passing the Chester Upland schools on to private companies. Pennsylvania law passed the Fair Funding Formula in 2016. However, it only applied to new funds.

“It’s the stupidest, I mean absolutely stupid and stupid, to believe that selling a public school facility would improve the quality of public education,” said Williams. “The stupidest thing … Public education is not just a tool, it’s a survival kit, and if not properly operated or funded, it fails at all … When someone tells you there is not enough money to do something finance, then how do you sell a used car and believe it will do better with less money?

“Where does logic ever exist in a space that you privatize as something as sacred as public education in this country?” asked the Senator, citing the national value of public education. “Now we have decided to turn our backs on this commitment as a nation and as a state and to turn our backs on that in Chester.”

Williams warned that this was a problem for all communities.

“It’s about every child, anywhere in Pennsylvania,” he said. “The same is going to happen to them. That is, if it happens in Chester, look over your shoulder for a privatized school to make a profit and get into your community. That means that … We say no. You will my not yours. ” Children.”

The Senator spoke in the historical context of imposing a dollar amount on people.

“When you decide to sell a system based on the worth of each child, that reminds people like me who grew up in the 60s and knew a lot about what slavery was … this is not a bridge,” Williams said, “This is a direct correlation about the fact that we still consider people inferior. We still admit the perception that if you are poor in this country, if you are black in this country, and if you are in brown country, if you are in.” this country is white and poor, you are less than and that is why we can do what we want when we want to. “

Up to seven potential bidders may have submitted bids to the court after Judge Barry Dozor cleared proceedings to open the district schools to outsourced management under a recovery plan related to the district’s financial recovery status under Law 141 of 2012.

Chester Community Charter School is among the bidders who have submitted a proposal that includes a plan to convert Main Street Elementary School into the Main Street Academy for Entrepreneurship at Chester Community Charter School and transform Chester Upland School for the Arts into the Performing and Visual Arts Academy at Chester Community Charter School. CCCS already trains around 4,300 students in the district and more than half of primary school students in CUSD.

Receiver Juan Baughn Saturday declined to comment.

Chester activist A. Jean Arnold said the Chester Upland School District has been plagued by insufficient funding and poor academic achievement for many years.

“In my heart,” she said, “(I) do not believe that the current solution the Chester School District is facing is to divide our district and distribute our components to a multitude of bidders. In your heart, I think you know this solution will not transform our district where our students are thriving and ready for the 21st century. “

Toby Farms eighth grade teacher Theresa Ebersole said those in attendance want a voice on decisions made for students and responsible systems that are right for students.

“Our children deserve careful planning so as not to sell out to the lowest bidder,” she said. “Our children deserve to benefit from a fair funding formula and to give locally controlled schools a fair chance to function and be accountable to students and families.”

Chester High student Elaijah Stevenson read a letter at the rally while taking tests at Delaware County Community College.

As a STEM student in AP honoring classes, she said, “Our schools are doing what they can with the little funding they get … We need more funding. If our district had the money to go for Paying for everything he needs would not be an academic failure there. “

Kendell Simmons from Delco Resists spoke about what it’s like for students at Chester Upland.

“The systems that prepare our students, teachers and families for the future are failing in ways that are very, very present and visible now,” he said. “They have students who sit in schools in winter and wear their jackets. They have students who don’t have air conditioning in summer so they sit sweating with no real options.”

He said people need systems that support their success.

“We live and breathe people who tell you that our students, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters are important and that they need an education that enables them to change the world in which they live rather than just being another statistic being sold like another investment, “he said. “How many kids are never going to get a shot to become a doctor because their system didn’t work for them? You can say, ‘You have to work as hard as you can to get through,’ but if you have to, to overcome more hurdles than the people around you, more hurdles than the people two blocks away in another school district … you’re not going to have the fair shot they have. “

For the past seven years, the school district has had four beneficiaries and three key recovery officers, and there have been four recovery plans as of 2012. The district saw significant sales from executives, school principals, teachers and students.

In June, Dozor requested the district beneficiary to submit a revised financial recovery plan to assess the district’s current financial position, identify challenges, and come up with a plan to achieve financial viability. Part of that plan was opening up the Chester Upland Schools to outsourcing.

The proposals submitted this week will be distributed to a task force for evaluation. This can take about a month and include public presentations.