Pennsylvania: Watching Public Education Die in Delaware County

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Chester-Upland school district teeters once again towards bankruptcy. Half of of its students are enrolled in charter schools, and the public school district is in deep deficit. The Corbett administration refused to supply the funding needed to survive, abandoning the state’s constitutional obligation to maintain public schools. Former Governor Corbett, a proponent of privatization, appointed an emergency manager who was known as a supporter of charters and vouchers. He recommended merging the administration of public schools and charters, but the charters declined to join.

“The Chester-Upland School District faces a $20 million structural deficit, which Watkins attributes to costs incurred by student exodus to charter schools and the state government’s decision in 2011 to eliminate money in the budget to help districts cover the cost of departure.

“Almost half of the more than 7,000 students in the area attend charter schools.

“Watkins has floated several unorthodox fixes for the…

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