Controversial York, PA charter school plan hits huge road block–a new governor

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by Brian Washington

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The last time we heard from David Meckley–who was hand-picked by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to improve York schools financially and academically–he was trying to ram through a plan to turn all the district’s public schools into privately-run charter schools.

The proposal Meckley put forth as the city’s chief recovery officer proved overwhelmingly unpopular with the community and triggered protests involving educators, students, parents, and neighborhood leaders.

But what a difference a new administration can make. After Corbett suffered a resounding loss to the state’s new governor, Tom Wolf, in November, the city of York now finds itself looking for a new chief recovery officer.

Meckley, much to the delight of pro-public education activists throughout the city, resigned earlier this month—claiming Governor Wolf and his opposition to converting public schools to charters made it “impossible” for him to move forward.

The Wolf Administration issued a statement thanking Meckley for his service while at the same time pointing out that it was Meckley’s boss—Corbett—who was at the center of York’s problems.

The fact of the matter is that school districts across Pennsylvania are struggling as a result of misguided funding cuts that have starved our classrooms of resources and put our children at a disadvantage,” read Wolf’s statement. “The York City School District, which has been forced to the brink of financial collapse, is no different.

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The good news is Governor Wolf has just unveiled a budget that would make a historic investment in public education throughout the state. Overall, Wolf’s budget would increase the state’s share of funding from 35 percent to 50 percent. Under the governor’s proposal, York would get a $5.6 million increase in funding.

“I look forward to working with elected officials and community leaders to move the York City School District forward,” said Wolf.

Meanwhile, education leaders say a search is underway for a new chief recovery officer in York. The hope is the person who replaces Meckley will have a better understanding of the educational aspect of schools.

Reader Comments

  1. The Charter School Law should be repealed by the PA legislature. If the legislators won’t repeal it, then it should be taken-up in the courts by We, the People.

    The PA Constitution is one of the strongest in the nation to support public schools to promote the common good.

    “School Choice” which is a concept proposed by private industry to receive forced taxation without public representation which uses our young as pawns for financial gain.

    The school choice lobbyists which is funded by the billionaires’ club and for-profit and non-profit companies are out to destroy the American dream for the next generation. They want to hasten the day when we live in a 2 class society.

  2. More Wolf nationwide. Democrats- pay attention to this. York, PA was taking a beating for all of our country at the hands of the real enemy- the super rich privatizing team. Look what Wolf did when he won BY THE SUPPORT of PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPPORTERS- he didn’t just say no to the charge for charter school take overs. No- he gave SIGNIFICANTLY MORE in his budget TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. This is the way the left needs to do business here- instead if crying and lying on the ground allowing the republicans to beat our country to death.

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