YorkCounts group elaborates on all-charter proposal for city school district
YORK, Pa, Feb 15, 2013 (York Daily Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
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Representatives of YorkCounts explained more Thursday about why they think an all-charter school system is the "only viable, doable option" for transforming the York City School District.
YorkCounts' education work group gave recommendations to the advisory committee working on the district's financial recovery process on Wednesday. It recommends the district seek proposals from high-performing nonprofit charters to run schools and incorporate the "Community in Schools" model throughout the district.
Here are some highlights from the York Daily Record/Sunday News editorial board's meeting with Loren Kroh, chairman of YorkCounts, and Eric Menzer, chairman of the work group.
--- As to whether the all-charter system would improve the city district's financial situation, Menzer said the group believes it will. But the YorkCounts group focused largely on education, deferring financial considerations to the advisory committee and chief recovery officer.
--- The group rejected inside reform for reasons including instability in governance, with frequent board member turnover and a lack of candidates, and in superintendents, noting there have been four in 10 years.
"The environment, the culture, the instability of governance makes it such that you can't get there through this inside reform and that we need something much more sweeping," Menzer said.
--- To make the proposal work, state action on charter funding and accountability would be needed. Kroh said Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-West Lampeter Township) is working on charter school reform legislation and is interested in the YorkCounts group's ideas.
--- In YorkCounts' vision, the school district and school board would still exist, Menzer said. The board would essentially grant charters and set taxes, he said, and the advisory committee would still be involved. A CEO and small number of staff would likely be involved in oversight and accountability, he said.
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