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Teachers Decide To Work For Free After Budget Cuts Leave Pennsylvania School District Without Funds For Salaries


occupyonline:

The Chester Upland School District in Delaware County, Pennsylvania suffered a serious setback when Gov. Tom Corbett (R) slashed $900 million in education funds from the state budget. The cuts landed hardest on poorer districts, and Chester Upland, which predominantly serves African-American children and relies on state aid for nearly 70 percent of its funding, expects to fall short this school year by $19 million.

Faced with such a shortage of funds, the school district informed its staff that it will not be able to pay their salaries come Wednesday. So the teachers decided to work for free. As one teacher put it, students “need to be educated, so we intend to be on the job”:

At a union meeting at Chester High School on Tuesday night, the employees passed a resolution saying they would stay on “as long as we are individually able.”

Columbus Elementary School math and literacy teacher Sara Ferguson, who has taught in Chester Upland for 21 years, said after the meeting, “It’s alarming. It’s disturbing. But we are adults; we will make a way. The students don’t have any contingency plan. They need to be educated, so we intend to be on the job.”

The school board and the unions separately begged Corbett to provide financial aid for the district, but Corbett turned each request down. Pennsylvania’s Education Secretary Ron Tomalis told the board that it “had failed to properly manage its finances and would not get any additional funds.” Chester Upland was forced to lay off “40 percent of its professional staff and about half of its unionized support staff before school began last fall.” That leaves 200 professionals and 65 support staff to manage a school with class sizes of over 40 students.

Chester Upland is not the only district desperately trying to stay afloat. Corbett’s cuts forced one school district to enforce wage freezes and cut extracurricular activities and another turned to actually using sheep instead of lawnmowers to cut grass at two of its schools. As ThinkProgress’s Travis Waldron pointed out, Corbett could relieve school districts if he let special interest groups like tobacco and the oil and gas industry go without their tax breaks. But he seems to prefer allowing teachers to go without pay.

fearandwar:

I’ve never understood the eagerness to slash education budgets as a way to save money. It is the most shortsighted policy possible. Yeah, you save some money now, but you end up with less educated citizens. Unless, of course, that’s exactly what you want.

*Plays conspiracy music*

  1. antaresia reblogged this from smdy and added:
    i love that these teachers are so motivated that they will work for free (although depressing that their salaries were...
  2. smdy reblogged this from anarcho-queer
  3. theloupgaroux reblogged this from anarcho-queer
  4. stormreach reblogged this from occupyonline
  5. aura218 reblogged this from occupyonline
  6. knittingknots reblogged this from occupyonline
  7. o3k64 reblogged this from occupyonline
  8. guarionexxx reblogged this from occupyonline
  9. viviano reblogged this from occupyonline
  10. real-news reblogged this from occupyonline
  11. tjjourian reblogged this from occupyonline
  12. emmydiocrity reblogged this from occupyonline
  13. capncaptain reblogged this from occupyonline
  14. occupyonline reblogged this from fearandwar and added:
    The Chester Upland School District in Delaware County, Pennsylvania suffered a serious setback when Gov. Tom Corbett (R)...
  15. the-cold-revolution reblogged this from littlebluej and added:
    How can people relate spending to education? Education is one of the cheapest things in the world these days. Thank you...
  16. littlebluej reblogged this from fearandwar
  17. moreykorris reblogged this from occupyingyourpolitics
  18. occupyingyourpolitics reblogged this from occupylouisville
  19. dreaming-of-a-better-day reblogged this from rawr-reptar
  20. love-isnt-enough-to-win reblogged this from occupylouisville
  21. rawr-reptar reblogged this from praisethebasedgod and added:
    HEY GUYS I LIVE NEAR CHESTER. AND CHESTER IS A REALLY BAD AREA, SO THEY NEED SCHOOL AND NEED TO LEARN SO THEY CAN GET...
  22. lotuskasumi reblogged this from aka14kgold
  23. praisethebasedgod reblogged this from occupylouisville
  24. occupylouisville reblogged this from aka14kgold
  25. chalkandearth reblogged this from curiousmeans and added:
    Reblogged for all the commentary.
  26. curiousmeans reblogged this from aka14kgold
  27. aka14kgold reblogged this from damekatharsis and added:
    Motherfucking hell. And see, this is why people can get away with it—because a lot of teachers are, you know, decent...
  28. damekatharsis reblogged this from pas-d and added:
    The teachers are working for free. The teachers are working for free. The teachers are working for free. I don’t know if...
  29. pas-d reblogged this from fearandwar
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