Chester-Upland school district finally goes on trial this week in a federal lawsuit that has become Pennsylvania's largest equal education funding complaint in decades.
The lawsuit claims the state has "failed to maintain a thorough and efficient school system" by not properly funding the Delaware County school district and mismanaging it while the district was under state control between 1994 and 2010.
The lawsuit claims the state has required the district to spend $9,858 per student and $14,670 per special education student while the state charter school law calls for the district to give charter schools the same amount for regular education students and $24,500 for special education students. In all, charter schools receive 44 percent of the district's $96 million in revenues....the fundamental allegations — lack of state funding and an unfair funding formula that could cause schools to close — could have broad implications across the state if Chester Upland wins.
To the extent this lawsuit sheds any light on the question of whether state funding must be sufficient to allow schools to provide special education funding could have significant ripple effects across the commonwealth.
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