Court battle continues for Chester-Upland schools

CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A court battle continues in Delaware County between state and charter school officials. It all has to do with proposed funding cuts to the special education program of the Chester-Upland School District.

Attorneys for the school district say the way that charter schools are reimbursed for special education and online education is so lavish, many public schools in the Chester-Upland district may not have enough money to open the doors next month.

That's why the state and Chester-Upland officials want the judge to approve a $20.7 million reduction to what the district would have to pay charter schools for special education students.

Attorneys for the charter schools say not only would that compromise their clients' ability to educate their special needs kids, it could, in some cases, threaten the very existence of their schools.

Currently, more than half of the district's students are enrolled in charter schools.

Local education activist Jean Arnold says her real hope is that the judge strikes the right balance with his verdict.

Arnold tells us, "I'm prayerful and very hopeful that we'll come out of here with a settlement decision that is fair for all of us - the charter schools and all of the public schools, and of course those of us who are operating under this stressful situation in Chester."
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