The Chester-Upland School District could soon be the first school district in the country to be operated by a charter organization, writes Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post.
Ongoing financial difficulties, amplified by the pandemic, has opened the door for CSMI, a charter school management organization, to take over the district’s K-8 program.
Chester-Upland is securing charter school management proposals through the fall of 2020, following a May 2020 Delaware County Court order.
Chester Community Charter School, managed by CSMI, opened in 1998 a few years after Chester-Upland’s financial problems started. It has positioned itself to expand into the district.
Maura McInerney, legal director of the nonprofit Education Law Center, summed up Chester-Upland School District as a “stark example of the high cost of inadequate and inequitable school funding and the disproportionate impact of underfunding on students of color.”
It needs state support to help students living in deep poverty harmed by underfunding and lack of basic school resources.
“Instead, conversion to charter control is being pursued as an ‘out’ when we should focus our attention on creating a sustainable path to local control,“ McInerney said.
Read more about the plight of the Chester-Upland School District in The Washington Post here.