In Pennsylvania, A District Backs Away From The Charter Brink

Forbes by Peter Greene Senior Contributor, July 1, 2021

Like a television show throwing its audiences end-of-season twists, the Chester Upland School District has unleashed a series of end-of-year surprises. Chester Upland School District, located in Delaware County in southeast Pennsylvania, is one of the poorest districts in the state. It has struggled through decades of challenges; since 2012, the district has been through four recovery plans, four receivers, and three chief recovery officers. Its history is the history of every movement undertaken to “fix” schools. In 2019, Chester Community Charter School, which already enrolls about half the students in the district, asked the court to let charters take over full operation of the district, and newest court-appointed receiver (and previous CUSD superintendent) Juan Baughn has been working to facilitate what would be

In May, charter operators made their pitches to the district and the public. Since then, the twists have been coming. The biggest news is that Baughn has rejected all charter proposals. The court will have a final say on this decision , but if the judge accepts Baughn ‘s decision. Chester Upland schools will not be charterized at this time. While this is the outcome that many hoped for, given the degree to which the process has been swathed in secrecy, it is not what they expected.

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