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Chester Upland charters trying to settle special-education costs out of court

Yellow school buses for the Chester Upland School District.
Photo: Emma Lee/WHYY

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.


Delaware County Judge Chad Kenney announced an "agreement in principle" between area charter schools and the Chester Upland School District on Tuesday.

That deal comes after two rounds of hearings in Kenney’s courtroom over the cost of special-education tuition to charter schools.

Kenney had been considering a state-backed financial recovery plan that would reduce special-education payments to Chester Upland charter schools from $40,000 per student to $16,000.

In a statement, the judge said a "memorandum of agreement" was being prepared between the schools and the district. No details of the agreement have been released.

Jeffrey Sheridan, a spokesman for Gov. Wolf, released a statement after the judge’s order that the state has withdrawn the revised financial recovery plan.

"We are confident in our amended plan as the best path forward, but the administration, [Pennsylvania Department of Education] and [district receiver Francis] Barnes are continuing discussions with involved parties to reach a resolution that puts Chester Upland on solid financial footing," Sheridan said.

A school board member named the three negotiating charters as Chester Community Charter School, Widener Partnership Charter School, and Chester Charter School for the Arts. Representatives of the state — which has control of the financially distressed district through powers granted in Act 141 — and the school district would not comment on the substance of the negotiations.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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