August 28, 2015
Faculty members and staff of the Chester Upland School District voted Thursday to work without pay if necessary after receiving news of insufficient funds, The Delaware County Daily Times reports.
At a morning convocation, Superintendent Gregory Shannon reportedly read a letter from Francis Barnes, the state-appointed receiver for the school district, stating that the district currently does not have the funds to make payroll for Sept. 9. Classes are scheduled to begin Sept. 2.
"We knew that the district was in financial straits but we didn’t know it was so immediate so, yes, we were very shocked," Chester Upland Education Association President Michele Paulick told the Delaware County Daily Times.
Following the announcement from the superintendent, the approximately 200 teachers represented by the Chester Upland Education Association and more than 120 secretaries, teaching assistants, licensed practical nurses and other staff represented by the Chester Upland Education Support Personnel Association passed a joint resolution stating their members “will work as long as they are individually able, even with delayed compensation, and even with the failure of the school district to meet its payroll obligations, in order to continue to serve the students who learn in the Chester Upland School District.”
“This kind of commitment goes beyond what we ever want to ask of our staff, but as we continue to explore every possible legislative, fiscal and legal avenue to secure the funds, their sacrifice is much appreciated,” Barnes said in a press release issued Thursday night.
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