York City school board members set to vote on charter school contract

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It’s been a hot debate for months now; should York City schools be converted to charters or remain district operated.

Now, the time has finally come for school board members to decide.

On Wednesday evening, they’ll vote on a proposed contract that if passed would convert all eight of the district’s schools into charters by July 2015.

York City’s Chief Recovery Officer, David Meckley, proposed the five year agreement with Charter Schools USA last Wednesday.

Meckley says failing reading and math scores as well as unsuccessful contract negotiations  with the teacher’s union are all reasons behind his push to convert the schools.

A spokeswoman for Charter Schools USA says the company does have a history of turning around struggling schools.

"Look we've been through this, this is what we have to offer, we're here to help,” said Paula Jackson with Charter Schools USA.  “Whatever we can do to support you and your students, to get them out of being 499 out of 500; we believe in these kids."

Still, not everyone is on board with the idea.

Teachers and parents have both expressed anger over the possible ruling.

Some parents have even threatened to remove their children from the district schools depending on the outcome of Wednesday’s vote.

"I'm actually very concerned that it may definitely get worse, you know with change comes a lot of different things,” said parent, Cynthia Skelton. “It's going to take them awhile to hash any kinks out. And I really don't think I want my kids to be stuck in the middle of them trying to figure everything out."

Some board members also say they feel they’re being forced to vote “yes” because if they don’t, Meckley has said the district will go into receivership, essentially stripping the board of its power.

School board members will vote on the proposed contract Wednesday evening at the school board meeting which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at William Penn High School.