What table games mean for Chester students

Wanda Mann and Mayor Butler
Chester Mayor Wendell Butler and CUSB President Wanda Mann

Regardless of your opinion on gambling, here’s some good casino news out of Chester: The debut of poker, blackjack, craps and roulette at Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack means that more Chester residents will be able to go to college.

Yesterday, Mayor Wendell Butler Jr. and Chester-Upland School Board President Wanda Mann signed the paperwork that will enable the school district to use 1 percent of Harrah’s table-game revenue to become a sponsoring district of Delaware County Community College (DCCC).

That will slash the cost for Chester City, Chester Township and Upland Borough residents who want to attend community college. Residents from sponsoring districts get a huge discount at DCCC, which will help families that might otherwise be unable to afford college tuition.

“Becoming a sponsoring district has been a longtime goal, but we simply couldn’t afford the nearly $4 million capital buy-in and the approximately $250,000 annual sponsorship fee,” Mann said. “Now, because of this deal with the city, not only will our students benefit, but also all Chester-Upland residents.”

Butler said he worked with Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and the school district to ensure that the table games legislation had this provision.

“This deal will help immensely those Chester residents who want to pursue a post-high school education,” Butler said.

Beginning in January, Chester-Upland residents will pay $97 per credit hour at DCCC, compared to $194 for residents from non-sponsoring districts, according to the city.