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Wed Sep 2, 2015, 11:05 PM

Teachers in This Broke School District Are Working for Free


It was déjà vu on Wednesday for teachers and staff at the Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania: Three years ago they made headlines for continuing to work despite their bankrupt school district's being unable to pay them. On Wednesday, owing to the district running a deficit and a delay in Pennsylvania's legislature passing a state budget, educators in the 3,800-student district 20 minutes west of Philadelphia welcomed students back to campus—despite not knowing when they’ll be paid.

"We have no idea when that first paycheck is coming, but we're going to stay here as long as we're financially able," Michele Paulick, president of the Chester Upland Education Association, told The Philadelphia Inquirer last week after the union’s members agreed to keep on working despite learning that the district would be unable to make payroll on Sept.

At the heart of Chester Upland’s crisis is the amount of cash being passed along to three charter school operators in the district, which enroll about half the area's students.

Schools in Chester Upland “have been in deep deficit because of competition with charter schools and cyber charters that suck funding away from the public schools,” education historian and NYU professor Diane Ravitch wrote on her blog last week. It's a scenario that charter school opponents have long warned of: taxpayer dollars that pay for underfunded districts and unionized teachers getting diverted to schools operated by the private sector—which are often funded by the likes of the Walmart billionaires' Walton Family Foundation.

Charter school backers retort with the maxim, "The money should follow the child," and it was no different in this instance.

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Reply Teachers in This Broke School District Are Working for Free (Original post)
eridani Sep 2015 OP
bluestateguy Sep 2015 #1
eridani Sep 2015 #2

Response to eridani (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2015, 12:28 AM

1. Isn't that nice

I'd never do that.

Teachers are professionals. Not charity workers.

I'm glad they love the children, but they have a right to get paid as the professionals they are.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 3, 2015, 12:32 AM

2. A lot of professionals are working for shitty pay--like part time college lecturers

One professor holds office hours in the car where she lives when not couch surfing.

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