SOURCE: Chester Community Charter School

Millennium 3 Management

August 24, 2015 13:36 ET

Pennsylvania's Largest K-8 Charter School Protests First Hearing on the Governor's Proposed Budget, Cutting $24.7M in Special Education Funding

Chester Community Charter School Joined Chester Upland School District in Demonstrating Against the Recently Proposed Budget Cuts to Special Education; Encourages Support and Discussion Using the Hashtag #ChesterStudentsMatter

CHESTER, PA--(Marketwired - August 24, 2015) - On Monday, August 24, 2015, administrators, teachers, parents and students of Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania, join parents and administrators of Chester Upland School District in protest of Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget cuts to special education funding in the Chester Upland School District.

The Governor's proposal would reduce special education allocations in the District by $24.7 million, from $40,000 per year, per pupil, to approximately $16,000 per year, per pupil.

The state's Department of Education will begin hearing opening arguments today.

CCCS is utilizing the hashtag #ChesterStudentsMatter, as a way to broaden the discussion and encourage and rally supporters, who have fought for years, in collaboration with the school, on matters such as funding, enrollment cap rates, school choice, etc., while also engaging those who have had limited knowledge about the history of the school, its contributions to the Chester community, and the funding obstacles faced by its students.

Dr. David Clark, CEO, Chester Community Charter School, said, "Why would the Governor focus his cost-cutting apparatus in Chester, a population of people whose median household income is a mere $27,249, reducing a $40,000 Special Education allocation to $16,000, while leaving in place a $44,000 Special Education allocation in Lower Merion SD, where the personal income per pupil is $750,708; and a $35,000 Special Education allocation in Radnor Township SD, where the personal income per pupil stands at $459,679? This just doesn't make sense. It's punishment to the poor, for being poor."

He continued, "Don't our kids deserve a fighting chance to be successful, or is that only reserved for those students coming from well-to-do families?"

Josè Alvarez, school resources officer, City of Chester, and CCCS concerned parent, said, "Our message to Gov. Wolf is united, loud and clear: Please stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of PA's poorest school district.

"I have been an active parent, supporting Chester Community Charter School since day one, in 1998. I have five children who have all attended the school, and have received a stellar education. My children were even awarded scholarships to prestigious private high schools, which my family couldn't have afforded otherwise. This school is a God-send for Chester students and residents."

About Chester Community Charter School

Chester Community Charter School opened its doors on September 9, 1998, serving 97 students from its modest, four, meeting rooms, in the lobby of the Howard Johnson Hotel, in Chester, PA. Since that time, the school has steadily grown to include more than 3,000 students in 11 state-of- the-art-buildings, spanning three campuses. Through collaboration with the Gureghian Charitable Foundation, and CCCS' High School Search and Selection Program, more than $6.5 million in scholarships and financial assistance to prestigious private secondary schools has been awarded to 175 of the school's graduates, since 2009.

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