Skip to Content

NEA urges PA governor not to rob Chester Upland students of their future

Tentative agreement is only a short-term fix

WASHINGTON - January 18, 2012 -

Following is a statement by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel regarding the crisis in Chester, Penn., where the school district will run out of money unless the state provides emergency relief. The members of the Chester Upland Education Association have voted to work as long as they are able for delayed compensation.

Today a tentative agreement was reached to advance the Chester Upland School District enough state subsidy money to get through the next month. The agreement, which awaits Federal Judge Michael Baylson’s approval, will send $3.2 million to the financially embattled district from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

"It is a dereliction of duty to the children of Chester Upland for the Pennsylvania governor and the secretary of education to withhold funds for the district’s schools. The $3.2 million is just a short-term fix and is not a solution for the district’s students.

“I am so proud of our local NEA leadership and members, the 204 teachers and 65 school support staff who work in the Chester Upland School District.

“Our members are doing as much as they can to keep the promise of public education to their students.  Now, the State of Pennsylvania must do all that it can to keep teachers and ESP on the job and give them the compensation that they work for so that they can feed their own families.”

To hear Chester Upland members’ stories visit

Follow us on twitter at

# # #

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser  (202) 822-7823,