Keystone State Education Coalition
When Delaware County's Chester Upland School District raised taxes last summer for the fourth year in a row, it was just the latest move in a long-running attempt to bring a chronically deficit-ridden district back to financial health. "We keep asking the state to give us more," said Chester Upland's school board president, Anthony Johnson. "And the board's mindset is, we've got to stand up and do for self, too." The district is pinning its hopes on an unusual strategy: bringing special education students back to district schools from charters — a move that could cut the district's $7 million dollar deficit by almost a third. "This year we're coming after the cyber [charter] children. If we can get 50 back, that's over $2 million," Johnson said. "That's revenue. You have to look at it as revenue." In the tangled world of Pennsylvania public school financing, special education payments to charters are a particularly thorny problem. The payments are not calculated based on the actual cost of services, which can vary widely depending on a given student's needs. Nor are they based on the actual number of students served.
Douglas Carney is a 24 year member of the Springfield School Board and a board member of Public Citizens for Children and Youth. Tomea Sippio-Smith is the K-12 policy director at PCCY.
Blogger note: To my knowledge, no legal action has ever been taken regarding the Chester Community Charter School which is operated by Vahan Gureghian, who was Gov. Corbett’s largest individual campaign donor.
Reprise 2013: How Pennsylvania Schools Made a Cheating Scandal Disappear
Tainted scores throw an entire way of running schools into question.
City Paper by Daniel Denvir Posted: Thu, Jul. 18, 2013, 12:00 AM
The odds that 11th-graders at Strawberry Mansion High School would have randomly erased so many wrong answers on the math portion of their 2009 state standardized test and then filled in so many right ones were long. Very, very long. To be precise, they were less than one in a duodecillion, according to an erasure analysis performed for the state Department of Education.
In short, there appeared to be cheating — and it didn’t come as a total surprise. In 2006, student members of Youth United for Change protested being forced out of class for test-preparation sessions and won concessions from the district. In 2010, principal Lois Powell-Mondesire left Strawberry Mansion; after her departure, test scores dropped sharply.
- Monday, May 1, 6-8 p.m. — Parkway West CTC, 7101 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA 15071
- Tuesday, May 2, 7:30-9 a.m. — A W Beattie Career Center, 9600 Babcock Blvd, Allison Park, PA 15101
- Tuesday, May 2, 6-8 p.m. — Crawford County CTC, 860 Thurston Road, Meadville, PA 16335
- Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m. — St. Marys Area School District, 977 S. St Marys Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857
- Thursday, May 4, 6-8 p.m. — Central Montco Technical High School, 821 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
- Friday, May 5, 7:30-9 a.m. — Lehigh Carbon Community College, 4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078
- Monday, May 15, 6-8 p.m. — CTC of Lackawanna Co., 3201 Rockwell Avenue, Scranton, PA 18508
- Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m. — PSBA, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
- Wednesday, May 17, 6-8 p.m. — Lycoming CTC, 293 Cemetery Street, Hughesville, PA 17737
- Thursday, May 18, 6-8 p.m. — Chestnut Ridge SD, 3281 Valley Road, Fishertown, PA 15539
Thomas Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education
Kristen Swanson, Director of Learning at Slack and one of the founding members of the Edcamp movement
*Leadership for Learning
*Professional and Community Leadership