The Chester Upland School District's board rejected the proposed recovery plan in a 5-4 vote Monday night. State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis is now required to petition for a receiver to implement the plan.
The plan calls for shuttering nearly half the district's schools, cutting dozens of jobs and turning around student performance in two years.
Opponents said the plan stripped the district of local control. Those who voted in favor of the plan generally offered only grudging support, citing fears the board could be totally marginalized if it failed to go along with it.
The district faces a $3 million budget gap this year.