Saturday, August 29, 2015

Teachers Offer to Work for Free to Save Their School | gadflyonthewallblog

Teachers Offer to Work for Free to Save Their School | gadflyonthewallblog:

Teachers Offer to Work for Free to Save Their School

Screen shot 2015-08-29 at 1.58.26 AM

Lawmakers have failed Chester Upland School District.
And now it’s up to teachers and professional staff to save the day.
For two decades, the Pennsylvania legislature hasn’t fulfilled its duty to equitably fund the public school district. Neither has the federal government. Instead, they left the impoverished school just 20 miles west of Philadelphia to survive on the drip of local property taxes from residents who, themselves, don’t have two pennies to rub together.
Moreover, our lawmakers not only permitted but encouraged three privately run charter schools to come to Delaware County and suck away whatever funds they could from the district while shortchanging student services at their privatized facilities.
And even worse, our elected officials drew up legislation allowing these charters to gobble up more funding from the district than the public school is allowed to spend on its own students.
Surprise! It didn’t work!
So the state put the school in receivership, taking away control from local tax payers so unelected bureaucrats could fix all the problems.
Surprise! That didn’t work, either!
And now state and local officials say there isn’t enough money left in the district’s piggy bank to make payroll by the time the school’s 3,300 students are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
In such situations, there’s only one thing to do: close the school. Bus the kids to neighboring districts and any charter or cyber schools willing to take them.
No more Chester Uplands. Another neighborhood school bites the dust.
But the district’s more than 300 employees refused to let that happen.
The dreaded teachers union held a meeting and decided to what? Hold a strike? Demand more pay?
No. The 200 members voted unanimously to work without pay as the school year