York city schools may switch to an all-charter district
There could be a major change in York City schools. Two charter school companies have applied to take over every school in the district. It would be the first time anything like this has happened in Pennsylvania. But teachers are upset. They say hundreds of them could lose their jobs. Seeing all of these people turn out to voice their concerns is something school board president, Margie Orr, welcomes.
"This is what we needed to see and here because we haven't been seeing this past board meetings and it was time for the community come out and let them know how they felt about this," says Orr.
Orr says the district is revisiting the option to go all-charter because it can't come to a contract agreement with the teacher's union. She says they're meeting multiple times a week to reach one.
"It's not all about the finances, it's about our children's education so they gotta really consider that also and that's going to be a big part of our decision moving forward with this," says Orr.
The district wants to increase academic performance but teachers don't think switching to charter schools will make that happen.
"If a for-profit charter like Mosaica comes in like they did in Muskegon, Michigan and comes in and walks away after 2 years from a 5 year contract, where does that leave our community, our kids, our community," says Janice Laird, of the York City Education Association.
Teachers and union members blame the state's education cuts for hurting the students. Now they're not only worried about the students but their own jobs.
"I was born and raised here I'm a product of this community, I graduated from William Penn Senior High School. All of my children attend city schools and I chose to be here, I thought I would probably retire from here," says teacher, Clovis Gallon.
Orr says the school board would like to reach a decision on whether to move to an all-charter district by November. Board members will hear more information from the charter schools Wednesday, September 24th.