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  Educators Will Work Without Paychecks to Keep Broke District From Failing
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ContributorCOSDem 
Last EditedCOSDem  Jan 13, 2012 09:59pm
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CategoryGeneral
News DateThursday, January 12, 2012 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWhen Bonita Davis’ husband passed away in August, she faced the same fears and anxieties that would grip any new single parent. The bills didn’t stop coming. She wondered how she would continue supporting her two children in college.

And Davis, a sixth-grade teacher in the Chester Upland School District in Chester, PA, had no idea how much worse things were about to get.

Chester Upland, one of the poorest districts in Pennsylvania, made the stunning announcement in December that, without an infusion of cash from the state, it could no longer make payroll – starting with employees’ January 18th checks. Devastating state budget cuts had rendered the district destitute and had left its teachers, support professionals and administrators with two choices – find other employment, or continue showing up to work with no certainty of when they would be paid as promised.

Columbus Elementary teachers Fran Santoleri (left) and Bonita Davis are staying on the job to help keep their school open.

“In the 27 years I’ve been here, I’ve never had to worry about the possibility of a job that wouldn’t exist or children who wouldn’t have a stable place to go,” Davis said. “We’re worried about not existing.”
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