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York City School Board launches revocation proceedings against Helen Thackston Charter School

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YORK, Pa. - The York City School Board voted Wednesday night to launch an effort to revoke the charter of Helen Thackston Charter School.

Months after the district presented a laundry list of allegations and corrective measures that it said needed to be taken by the charter school, board members quickly voted 8-0 to proceed with starting the process to revoke Thackston's charter during a meeting in which there was no public comment on either side of the issue.

"I don't think there was any showing to our administration that those long list of grievances were handled properly," board member James Sawor said after the meeting.

There were different issues that were reasons board members voted to launch revocation proceedings. The biggest one for board President Margie Orr was standardized test scores.

"Their scores never increased, PSSA, Keystone, never increased," she told FOX43 after the meeting. "That alone in and of itself is enough for revocation."

Others say the curriculum Thackston provided, which includes a focus on homeland security, was not meeting the standards set forth.

"Our educators who are working in the district have told me and told other board members and administration of the challenges they faced with students coming back from Thackston," Sawor said.

Thackston administrators were present for the vote, but left once it happened. They declined comment to FOX43, saying the charter school's board would meet at the school Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss a course of action and make any public statements at that time.

Orr says the ongoing situation at Thackston should serve as a wake-up call to parents.

"If you're seeing that your child isn't bringing home good grades or the school's having problems, then that's your job to find out what's going on," she said. "We are the overseers of the charter schools, but the parents are the ones who are supposed to look out for their child's education."

In the coming weeks, district officials will identify a revocation hearing officer to lead public hearings on revocation and complete other tasks associated with the process.

Thackston officials will have several avenues for appeal, meaning it is a process that could take several months, if not a year to complete, officials said.

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