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.
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.