Hearing begins that could determine whether York City schools will go charter
A York County judge is weighing the Pa. Department of Education’s petition to place York’s schools into receivership, potentially paving the way for the district to become all charter schools.
A hearing Monday started with the judge quashing subpoenas that had been sent on Friday by the lawyer for the state’s largest teachers union. “The subpoenas were issued in my opinion because of a fishing expedition,” said Clyde Vedder who is an attorney for the state.
Those subpoenas were sent to try to get any communication between state officials and the company that could potentially run the charter schools, Charter Schools USA. By quashing them the judge allowed for the hearing to continue.
However the only reason the hearing is happening in the first place is because the state's recovery officer, David Meckley, and officials with the York City School District couldn't agree. Meckley had proposed an alternative plan that would make three charter schools in York, while the other five would stay in the hands of the district. The district rejected that plan.
That offer is off the table and now Meckley wants to be appointed receiver, thereby taking control of the district and making all of the schools charter. "Mr. Meckley intends simply to see that process through to ensure the school children of York are best educated," said Vedder.
The district's attorney Marc Tarlow cross examined Meckley and got him to acknowledge that financial projections for the district this academic year looked better than previous projections. Tarlow said the hearing will continue for another day, but acknowledged there's no telling just how long it could take. "I do not know. That I can say. That's the one thing about litigation, it's fair to say there's always a surprise," said Tarlow.