Will School in China Invest in Chester Upland Schools?

Chester Upland School District receiver Joe Watkins will soon travel to China to meet with officials.

Chester-Upland School District is one of the poorest in the state. It seems to always be struggling with funding. In 2012, the district actually sued the state for funds, saying it would have to close otherwise.

Now there’s a new plan: An elite school in China wants to invest. Chester Upland receiver Joe Watkins said yesterday he’ll be taking a trip to China to try to work out the details in the coming weeks.

“This is an opportunity for Chester Upland School District,” Wakins said. “To my knowledge no school district in the United State has even sought to partner with what is arguably the highest-performing school in China.” The school in China would invest a billion dollars in Chester Upland.

Watkins will meet with the president of the Shenzhen Yaohua Experimental School. Chester Upland is paying for the trip. “Watkins said he did not know how much it would cost because he hasn’t booked it yet,” the Delaware County Times reported.

The Inquirer reports former U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon introduced Watkins to the president of the experimental school, and says the state has reservations about Watkins’ plan.

“It’s money that should be used in the district for the benefit of students,” Tim Eller, a spokesman for the Department of Education, said in an e-mail.

He said that Watkins only recently told the education secretary of his plan, and that he had failed to provide detailed information about the district’s recovery plan. “Of great concern to the secretary is why Mr. Watkins has not explored similar programs/offerings that may be available in Southeastern Pennsylvania, across the state, and throughout” the country, Eller said.

There’s no word what the China school would be getting out of this deal.

[Inquirer | Delco Times]