Federal Suit: Chester Upland Schools and Parents vs. Pennsylvania and Tom Corbett
The impoverished Chester Upland School District is about to shut down, facing an unprecedented budget crisis and $20 million in debt, as detailed in this morning’s front page article in the Inquirer. Since that story was published, the school district and parents have now filed a class action suit in Federal Court. The suit asks the court “to declare as unconstitutional under federal and state constitutions and law the reduction in state funding” to the district. From 2006 to 2011, the state increased the district’s budget from $85 million to $113 million. Since then, Governor Corbett has basically said, “Sorry, guys. You’re cutoff.” The suit seeks to rectify this. The plaintiffs have also filed an emergency temporary restraining order, which seeks to enjoin the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Secretary of Education “from withholding subsidies to the Chester Upland School District until further order of the Court.” They demand an immediate (and by immediate, I mean by Tuesday) payment of at least $7 million.