As you know, the situation at Chester-Upland is rapidly becoming unsustainable. The district, one of the poorest in the state, is responsible for educating more than 3,600 students (excluding children in charter schools). Currently, it faces a debt of approximately $21 million. As of today, its bank account contains about $300,000. There are about $230,000 in outstanding checks which have been sent but not yet cashed. This would leave approximately $70,000 cash in the hands of the District. Further, the District is holding up $432,000 in checks to venders which are due, but which the District does not have the money to cover. This financial situation, as dire as it is, will only worsen in the short term as money due and owing continues to exceed incoming revenues.
Put bluntly, Chester-Upland School District is unable to pay its bills. Among the current obligations the District is unable to meet are teacher's salaries and payments to venders, including fuel to drive the school buses, maintenance for those buses, electricity, school lunches, medical insurance etc. The teachers and administrators of the District have selflessly agreed to work without pay for a short period of time as we attempt to resolve this issue. But this is obviously not a situation that is sustainable for any length of time.
Obviously this is a humanitarian and public perception problem that will quickly gain national attention. We have literally never faced such a situation before. While there may be some room to debate how we arrived at this moment, it seems to us that there can be no debate regarding the need to address this situation immediately and decisively.