YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A York County judge has put control of the city’s financially distressed school district into the hands of a receiver.
President Judge Stephen Linebaugh’s order Friday places the School District of the City of York in receivership for the next three years and appoints David Meckley as receiver.
Meckley, the state-appointed chief recovery officer for the district, will have the power to implement and modify the financial recovery plan. He will have all powers and duties of the school board except the power to levy and raise taxes, but he may ask the board to do so and take action if the board fails to comply.
Meckley wants to convert York’s eight public schools into charter schools operated by a for-profit company, Charter Schools USA, but the board postponed action earlier this month amid protests by teachers, parents and students.
Pennsylvania’s acting education secretary had asked the court to place the district in receivership. The petition filed by Carolyn Dumaresq said the school board has failed to implement Meckley’s plan for improving academic performance and restoring financial stability.
“The department has been focused on what is in the best interest of the students of York City School District, and the court’s ruling to place York City School District into receivership and appoint Dave Meckley as receiver will begin the process of returning a high-quality education to the students and community of York City,” Dumaresq said in a statement.
“Mr. Meckley can now implement the much-needed financial recovery plan that will improve the district’s educational programs, increase student achievement and restore financial stability to the district.”
Michael Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said the decision ignores the will of the community, puts students’ education at risk, and paves the way for a corporate takeover of the city’s schools.
“York’s citizens don’t want this, the elected school board doesn’t want this, and parents and educators don’t want this,” Crossey said in a statement. “With less than a month left in his term, there was no need for the Corbett administration to take this step and undermine the wishes of York’s citizens and their elected leaders.”
The school district has filed an appeal.