By David Madden
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A federal judge in Philadelphia has approved a plan that will avert “payless paydays” in the troubled Chester Upland School District, for about a month.
Judge Michael Baylson’s decision today starts the clock running for the Pennsylvania Department of Education to advance some $3.2 million to the Chester Upland school district no later than close of business on Thursday.
“We have been able to have made available to the district some funding which will enable the district to at least keep the schools of the district open for some period of time,” says district solicitor Leo Hackett.
It’s thought that this infusion of funds will keep 500 staffers paid through mid-February (see previous story), although Hackett cautions that demands from vendors could change that.
Wednesday’s scheduled payday could be postponed until Friday, as the transfer of funds plays out.
Judge Baylson has scheduled a hearing in late February on the district’s call to provide state funding for the remainder of the school year — a number in the $15.5-million range.
School board members in Chester Upland wanted to hear it straight from the Governor. Tom Corbett delivered during a stop in Malvern Tuesday, although chances are it’s not what the board wanted to hear.
“The state has been extending money to a school district that keeps spending next year’s money this year.”
And, Corbett says that’s got to stop, “there are other school districts that are very close behind Chester Upland in their economic problems. What is the incentive for them to do it right if you keep rewarding people for spending more than they have?”