Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chester Upland: The Tip of the Iceberg

The financial crisis in Chester Upland is about to come to a head. A court hearing is scheduled for noon today. Negotiations continue that could lead to another takeover of the district by the state.

From our story:
With the district’s future uncertain, residents gathered to brainstorm ways to actively voice their concerns to state officials.
“For a long time, the voice of this community has been silent,” Tina Johnson told the crowd. “People just think they can do whatever they want to this community. We’re going to show up and let them know, ‘Not here.’”
This is just the sort of attitude that drives non-Chester residents crazy. Public demonstrations demanding money from others garner headlines and media attention but they also harden the hearts of the people who are asked to bail out incompetent and ineffective school managers. Just check the comments.

There is no way the Corbett Administration is going to give more money to Chester Upland without it having much more control over how that money is spent. To unconditionally bail out CU now without getting that control would be political suicide for Corbett. It would show his administration can be rolled. Other financially-troubled school districts (aren't they all?) will make similar demands on state taxpayers.

When the federal government bailed out private financial institutions during the 2008 crisis, the uproar from taxpayers was deafening. And yet, that money was paid back promptly and with interest. There is no such chance of that happening in Chester or with any other school district. Any money sent to a school district gets spent immediately and then more is asked for. That's what happened with all the federal "stimulus" money that came to Pennsylvania. It went to protecting public employees (i.e. teachers, cops, firemen, etc.) from the sort of layoffs being felt in the private sector. Well, that money is gone. It was spent under the Rendell Administration. Now in comes Corbett having to deal with the mess left behind. (Sound familiar?)

I don't know how this will be "resolved." But the days of school districts and teachers unions being able to pressure and buy governors and state legislatures into lavishing them with more and more money are quickly coming to an end.

8 Comments:

Blogger Dannytheman said...

3600 students, "dozens"(24?) of concerned parents. That,all by itself, says everything you ever need to hear! Did those dozens pass the hat to help those starving teachers who are working for free??????? Missed reading that.

Break them all up and send them to the other 14 school districts. Spread the money they now get amongst those 14. The teachers would have to accept jobs in the other school districts.

January 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make the needed cuts to the CU School District. Allow the teachers to teach an move forward. Don't spread the students to already crowded school districts. Get to the root cause and solve the problem! Why can't they balance the budget. Working in the corporate world, you make the needed cuts or your business dies, why is everyone to afraid to apply the same theory? Also, if programs have to be cut and they are important to anyone, revive them with volunteers and donations and community.

January 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

Who do they cut? The employees all have Union protection. Real answers are needed, not "volunteers and donations from the community!"
There is plenty of room to spread these kids out. Do some math.
3600 kids divided by 14 school districts makes only 257 kids per district. Then divide by 12 grades. Truly? You can't handle 21 more kids per grade?

January 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other schools dont want the Chester kids there if they wanted their kids to go to school with them they would move to Chester.. What needs to happen is for people to get off welfare and start paying taxes. The other taxpayers in this state are already footing 70% of chesters budget, i have my own kids and school taxes to pay.im not paying for incompetence

January 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

The other schools don't want the kids? Or YOU don't want the kids going to YOUR schools?

Why not? We would be able to split the money that Chester Upland School gets now. Sounds like a Windfall for some school districts. We have 4 elementary schools in my district. I think 6 extra kids per school would not upset things much, don't you.

January 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM 
Anonymous Brian Page said...

Yea wait till the first time someone says something to one of the highschool kids and he calls his homeboys and the violence is brought to your childs school.... Go the way of elementary schools in upper darby where they are checking 4th and 5th graders for gang activity. What needs to happen is for the majority of Chester residents to get off welfare and pay taxes. If they paid taxes they might have some sort of pride in the schools and areas they live in.. Until then the free ride stops the free ride mentality will rule.

January 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the union and employees keep crying, "We need more money because the charter schools keep taking our money (students)".What these teachers and union officials really need to be asking is, "Why have so many of our kids fled the CUSD over the last few years?" The simple answer is because the education being offered in all but one of the CUSD schools is abysmal! These employees keep talking about the kids, the kids , the kids. Ok. So, if you truly care about the kids, let the CUSD finally collapse. CUSD needs to be replaced with some new and fresh charter schools. Schools that will offer a rigorous education. And I am not talking about Chester Community Charter School. CCCS is not a good school.

January 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

OMG Brian,
Really? You are really going to go to the threat that the kids from Chester might bring their home boys back into your neighborhood??
Don't you think those Chester kids won't be just as afraid having to attend another school? One without a metal detector, or one that has windows?

Are you one of those that think they need a fence around the city? It sure sounds like it!

January 18, 2012 at 2:04 PM 

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