Wednesday, October 10, 2012


As chief recovery officer, I have been given the opportunity to work alongside the people of Chester and Upland to save our schools. We all believe that every one of our children deserves the opportunity to succeed. But to become a great school district, we have to be willing think out of the box. We can’t repeat mistakes made over the last 20 years. We need to think creatively about how we can move this district forward, not just for today but for the future.

I am working with the people of this community to build a framework that will serve as our guide to the successful recovery of our school district. We must start with a financial baseline, see how much money we have coming into the district and what our needs are, and determine how we can best provide our children a great education with the resources available. We face some tough decisions ahead. The plan I am charged with developing will not have all the answers. But it will be a starting place, and we will add to it as needed when we put it into action.

I can already tell you that we do not plan to depend solely on public funds to get us where we want to be. Our parents want their children to have computers, music and art, sports, and programs for after school and summer school. But who says we have to be limited to the money available to us through public funds? There’s nothing to stop us from raising private money, from reaching out to philanthropists as part of our plan to ensure our children have the tools they need to learn and to thrive in our public schools.

Each of our children must be equipped with the skills not only to meet state performance standards, but to graduate and go to college or trade school. Before that can happen, we have to put our financial house in order and bring stability to the Chester Upland School District. We can this do this by working together. If we fail to act, our kids will suffer because our school district won’t be viable. As parents, educators and community leaders, we must work as partners to set our children on the path to a brighter future. Together, we will turn this district around and serve as a model for success throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation.

Warm Regards, 

Joe Watkins
Chief Recovery Officer 

The website is now up and running. To learn more about Watkins Click Here

The Recovery Plan was up for preliminary review in Harrisburg last week. The final plan is due to PDE October 16. The Public Meetings…

Time and place of Public Meetings Click Here

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