Weekly Update from Chester Eastside, Wednesday, June 25
Addressing the larger issues.
Chester Eastside continues to offer rich learning opportunities for young people through
its after-school program and summer day camp. But for us to fulfill our commitment to those children, we must to look beyond our own role to what else is affecting their lives. That’s what “working for a more just society” is all about. Chester Eastside is not a lobbying organization in the traditional meaning of that term. Our tax exempt status requires that we not be. But that does not mean ignoring or failing to speak out on those larger issues that affect the people we serve.
Case in point: quality education for all.
The Pennsylvania Constitution promises children in this state a “thorough and efficient
education. All children, including those growing up in Chester. But then there is the reality.
In 2012, drastic cuts in state funding forced the Chester Upland School District to
eliminate 40 percent of its teaching positions, sharply curtail many services, and put prekindergarten and kindergarten classes on half-time. The District has managed to get things back closer to where they were, and some good things have been happening. But Chester Upland is now under state receivership and struggling to give this community’s children a decent education. To their credit, the people who now work in that system have refused to give up and are working hard to provide the kind of education our children deserve.
From the beginning, people from Chester Eastside, Inc., have worked alongside others,
served on committees, and raised questions at public meetings. In some cases, Chester Eastside partners with the District on programs. To do any less would, in our minds, be a dereliction of duty.
Please note: This will be the last Weekly Update until September.
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• Meeting basic human needs
• Helping people of all ages be all that they can be
• Working for a more just society