Saturday, January 28, 2012

CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT FISCAL DISTRESS LEGISLATION


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CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT FISCAL DISTRESS LEGISLATION
November 4, 2011
From Community Matters Blog Posted on January 28th, 2012   1:37 PM  by Pattye Benson
Finally, click here for a draft legislative proposal that several PA state legislators have recently made public.  Marked confidential, the draft proposal document is titled Chester Upland Fiscal Distress” and dated November 4, 2011.  Interesting to note that this draft proposal was written prior to CUSD’s request to the state for financial help.  The proposal calls for the state to take over school districts in financial distress (starting with Chester Upland) and run the school district with the use of an oversight board – a ‘Special Board of Control’.
This special board would have the legal authority to cancel teacher contracts, turn district schools into charter schools, reassign or suspend staff and to close schools. To be clear, this is only a draft proposal and no formal legislation has yet been introduced – however, this draft would suggest that the ‘handwriting is the wall’  for the introduction of this, or similar legislation.
Looks like Chester Upland School District could become the model for all distressed school districts across the state. It is probably a fair assumption that how the state decides to handle the financial crisis in CUSD will be duplicated in every other failing school district in Pennsylvania.

Here is Dan Hardy’s coverage of the above draft legislation from Friday’s Inquirer:

Governor’s draft fiscal distress legislation: SRC-like boards could cancel teachers’ contracts and turn district schools into charters
Draft of a Corbett plan for Chester Upland district stirs a debate
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Fri, Jan. 27, 2012, 3:01 AM
As Delaware County's Chester Upland School District descended into insolvency this winter, the Corbett administration was largely mute on its plans for a solution.
A draft legislative proposal from the governor's office made public earlier this month by several state legislators sheds more light on his views.
It calls for state takeovers of distressed districts, starting with Chester Upland andDuquesne City, that would put Philadelphia School Reform Commission-type oversight boards in place.
Those boards could cancel teachers' contracts and turn all district schools into charters.

 

Latest Updates on Chester Upland - January 28, 2011


PA House Democratic Caucus Website
As districts consider their preliminary budgets and we await the Governor’s February 7th budget announcement, the PA House Democratic Caucus has begun daily tracking of press coverage on school district budgets statewide:

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