Teachers union president Michele Paulick said she received some unwelcome news at the Chester Upland School District teacher convocation this week.
"Our superintendent, Gregory Shannon, read a letter from our receiver, Francis Barnes, that informed the teachers that there are no funds," said Paulick, who described feeling "shock, frustration and anger" at the news.
Commonwealth Court ruled Thursday that the School Reform Commission lacks the power to impose enrollment caps on charter schools, a decision that hands a big victory to charters seeking to limit school districts' control of them.
The ruling throws another wrinkle into the School District of Philadelphia's ongoing effort to remain solvent. The District has maintained that unrestrained charter growth depletes its own limited funding and doesn't allow it to plan for its own schools..
The School District of Philadelphia is facing a lawsuit alleging that thousands of children are denied special education services due to a lack of translation and interpretation services for families that don’t speak English.
Under the pressure from administrative turnover and plunging PSSA results, school principals and high-level District officials have convened at Fels High School beginning last week to develop action steps for school improvement. And they brought their challenges with them.
Looming large is staffing uncertainty. Many of the District’s highest-needs schools are still scrambling to fill teacher vacancies. This comes on top of the continuing effects of counselor layoffs and other cutbacks.