York City school students are not doing well, according to state educational data. “The situation in York is really a failure of the status quo. Their district ranks 499th out of 500 districts. Second to worst in the entire state,” said James Paul who works for the Commonwealth Foundation, which is a think tank which supports the use of charter schools. Not everyone is on board with the charter school idea, including the state’s largest teachers union.
"The solution here is to let the internal option that teachers and administrators have worked on in York, let that work. That's absolutely in the best interest of the students," said Pennsylvania State Education Association spokesman David Droderic.
Droderic didn't say how long it would take to see a noticeable difference in performance, but thinks it's better to allow the district to fix problems internally. He also said parents he's talked to don't want to take a chance on a for-profit company when it comes to their kids’ education.
Paul said what's happening now isn't working despite the Department of Education spending over $600 more than the state average for each student in York City. "Over the past decade York City has seen a substantial increase in spending per student yet as we know the results just aren't there," said Paul.
On Wednesday the York City School District will consider a proposal to create three charter schools in York and then track their performance compared with the other schools over the course of the next five years.