Will York City follow in New Orleans footsteps?

York City School District continues to move through a financial recovery plan that includes the possibility of someday converting schools into charters, if internal reform doesn’t work as the plan requires.

Officials have said new collective bargaining agreements are necessary for internal reform to work financially, and the city teachers’ union recently rejected a contract proposal. So the all-charter option seems to loom larger.

Given that, I thought York-area folks might want to read more about what’s happening in New Orleans, where the Recovery School District will become the first district in the country to be completely made up of charter schools next year. The move has advocates and critics.

This isn’t to say that if York went all-charter, it would work the way it does in New Orleans, where the takeover of schools kicked into higher gear after Hurricane Katrina. But it’s interesting to look at the issues at play in another district.

I caught up with a New Orleans group in 2013, when the all-charter idea was first being discussed, when I was working on a story about what would happen to the school district if York ended up going all charter. New Orleans was cited as an example in the YorkCounts report that first suggested all charters, but during the recovery process, Philadelphia’s Renaissance schools (an initiative that turns low-performing schools into charters) were discussed more often as a model.

Also of interest: Below is a document that was provided to the Community Education Council in April, which I obtained through a Right to Know request. It lays out a potential timeline for seeking charter operators for schools, should the York City School Board decide to do that. Chief Recovery Officer David Meckley could recommend the board move forward with a request for proposals in June.

(Click on the box with four arrows in the bottom left corner to make this document bigger.)

 

About Angie Mason

I'm the education reporter at the York Daily Record. Follow me on Twitter: @angiemason1
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2 Responses to Will York City follow in New Orleans footsteps?

  1. Brett Schaeffer says:

    Will York City Follow in New Orleans’ Footsteps? By discriminating against minority students and students with disabilities? Let’s hope not. There are multiple federal civil rights complaints pending against the recovery district in New Orleans for discriminatory practices in school closings and in school access. New Orleans is not a recipe that should be followed. OCR Complaint

    • Angie Mason says:

      Hi Brett — Sorry for the delay in seeing your comment. David Lapp cited access as a concern when I spoke with him last year about the possibilities in York. Certainly something I’ll be trying to keep an eye on.

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