Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Widener Partnership Charter School Cutting Ribbon on New $4.6 Addition

Widener Partnership Charter School is the state’s first university-based charter. The 28,000-sq.-ft. addition includes a Science Learning Center, an extension of the library, a gymnasium, eight classrooms and eight offices.

During Thursday's ceremony, the school will also dedicate its new Science Learning Center to the PECO/Exelon Foundation. In April, the foundation announced a $1 grant to the school to fund science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at the school.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony comes one week after the school learned that it had achieved adequate yearly progress on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment test, one of only two schools in the district to make the grade this year.

The Chester Upland School District has pointed to the charter schools that serve the district as a primary reason for the district’s budgetary woes in recent years. The school district reimburses charter schools on a per-student rate based on the calculated cost to education a student.


  1. The district wouldnt have budetary woes if they had people on the board with some type of financial background and if they had didnwhat they were suppose to so that charter schools were not needed.

    However I like what widener is doing with students and the STEM based curriculum. The district and the other failig charter schools should follow.

    1. good for the children of chester...kids are learning!!!

  2. $4.6 what????? Million? Billion?

  3. Yes, it is always good to see our children given the best. However, I
    ask myself at what expense to the children of this district has
    Widener's Charter School created additional financial burden on the
    district? Widener, a multi-million dollar business, pays no taxes to
    this economically distressed district. They are rather hostile to the
    community in the use of their facilities. Has anyone tried going to
    their library and getting the"first degree" as to why you are there,while being blocked at the door? This Charter School, "maybe benefiting our students, has taken a significant amount of money from the district. What an insult to injury. This community needs to work together to get the district back together and start seeing education for our children in the long haul. These are the same children who live in Chester. Unless, these people have magic wands, the differences aren't long lasting. Everything is looking good now, because the district looks so bad. In the future, when
    we don't have this as excuse, you will see that significant gains have
    not really been made.


  4. While there are certain business taxes that Widener is exempt from because it is a tax-exempt organization, it is not exempt from the millions of dollars of payroll taxes that the university pays to the city of Chester. In addition, it is not a multi-million dollar business. It is a non-profit insitute of learning. This means there has to be a $0.00 on the books at the end of the year. Salary increases are minimal for employees because any "profit" is spent going back into the community, into education, into scholarships, into renovation.

    Additionally, I worked at Widener for 15 years and in all those years, I never saw a resident turned away from using the facilities. However, to use these facilities (in this PRIVATE institution) you must have an ID. There is a swipe machine at the entrance. Yes, you will be questioned if you don't have one, and yes you will be denied entrance if you don't have one. THIS HAPPENS TO ALL INDIVIDUALS WHO DON'T HAVE AN ID. Anyone who already has one, walks in - swiping their card as they go. It's going to be obvious who has an ID and who doesn't. Using this library is a privilege and as such you need to follow the rules - one of those is that you have to have a current Widener ID. I get sick and tired of hearing how the community is disenfranchised from the university. I worked there for too long to believe that nonsense.

    And finally, "This Charter School" as you call it - wasn't it the only charter school to pass any of the standardized tests with flying colors. Give me a break. And as far as the money that charter schools cost - I would love for anyone to show me a breakdown of it. As I understand, charter schools are paid for students to attend. The money that would have gone to a CUSD public school is now going to a charter school for that child's education (and BTW this amount does not cover the entire cost of the child's education at said charter school). But that student isn't in the CUSD public school using the resources. Yet the charter schools are a drain financially? Baloney.