Chester Community Charter School Sues School District, State Over Funding
By David Madden
CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – One of the two charter schools in Chester has filed suit in Commonwealth Court, seeking millions of dollars it insists is owed to them, either by the Chester-Upland School District or the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The Chester Community Charter School, with some 3,000 students, isn’t suggesting as the school district is that they need an advance on state funding to make payroll.
In fact, spokesman Joe Watkins says the charter school just wants what it’s owed. “December 2011 marked the 10th consecutive default on a scheduled monthly payment from Chester-Upland to CCCS.”
Chester-Upland solicitor Leo Hackett would beg to differ, believing the state was diverting tax dollars due them directly to the charter school. Hackett says that apparently stopped in the fall, “$4.5-million was paid out to the charter school during the months of October or maybe into the beginning of November to catch up with some of the prior payments.”
State education officials, while not discussing the suit, say Chester Community’s gotten $24-million this school year. The school is demanding $3.9-million upfront and $18-million more it says it’s due through June.