Chester District Runs Out of Money, Stops Paying Teachers

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Parent starts campaign on Change.org calling on Pennsylvania Governor Corbett to release emergency funds to keep Chester schools open

Hundreds of people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to release emergency funds to keep the Chester Upland School District open. The district announced last week it would stop paying teachers today due to financial troubles resulting from state budget cuts.

Danyel Jennings, the mother of two children currently enrolled in Chester Upland School District, launched the campaign on Change.org after reading reports that some teachers and support staff in the district voted to continue working as long as possible without pay to reduce harm done to students.

“Our kids and their futures are in jeopardy,” said Jennings, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “They deserve to have teachers who actually get paychecks for their work and a school district that will be reliably open for the full school year. We have to get our schools on the right track so kids like mine don't suffer for the mistakes of this school district.”

“During his election campaign, Governor Corbett promised that ‘every child in Pennsylvania, regardless of their zip code or economic status should have access to the best education possible,’” Jennings added. “Chester Upland needs rescuing right now, and if the Governor can’t find the money to deal with this emergency, he’s failing voters and our state’s children.”

The state assembly passed a budget last summer that included massive education cuts and forced Chester Upland to lower its operating budget by about $18 million, furlough more than 100 teachers and merge two high schools, among other cost-cutting measures.

In less than 24 hours, hundreds of people have joined Jennings’ campaign on Change.org, asking the governor to release emergency funds to allow the district to fund payroll through the end of the school year.

Jennings’ group of parents and community members, ACTION United, is planning a series of events and online actions to demand the Governor take swift action to fund Chester’s teachers.

“These parents and community members are clearly concerned about the future of children’s education in Chester,” said Change.org Organizing Director Katie Bethell. “It’s impressive to watch them take matters into their own hands with this Change.org campaign. With hundreds of supporters signing on in just a matter of days, I’d be surprised if Governor Corbett didn’t respond.”

Live signature totals from Danyel Jenning’s campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-of-pennsylvania-pay-teachers-in-chester

Journalists interested in contacting Governor Tom Corbett’s Office should try:

Governor's Office of Press & Communications
308 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 783-1116

Contact information for petition signers and community members can be arranged upon request:

Katie Bethell
Director of Organizing, Change.org
(202) 684 2552
press(at)change(dot)org

For more information on Danyel Jennings’ group, ACTION United, please visit:
http://www.actionsunited.com
Action United is a membership organization of low and moderate income Pennsylvanians working to build power through organizing communities to win changes on the issues that are important to them. Contact: Jennifer England, (412) 513-9091

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 500,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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Katie Bethell
Change.org
(202) 684-2552
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