The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Pennsylvania:
“A Charter on Steroids”

Mar 19, 2012

The Chester Upland School District, a Pennsylvania school district outside Philadelphia, is so broke it is not clear it can pay its teachers this month. It is one of the poorer school districts in Pennsylvania, with average household income of $26,000. The state must finance about 70% of its budget.

As of this moment, a single charter school gets more than half of the ENTIRE Chester district’s funding. Yes, one school, and a private charter at that, with 2600 students – the Chester Community Charter School. This school has a management that calls itself non-profit, but $5,000 – yes $5,000 per student – goes to a for-profit charter company that manages this school.

If those figures are correct, a company making profits takes in 13 million dollars from this one charter school, while the rest of the district has to sue the state to pay its teachers.

The acting superintendent for this district put it well: “Poor schools in this state are underfunded. Poor kids aren’t going to get the same shot as wealthy kids. That’s the society we are in now.”