A little more than a year ago, the future of the York City School District looked murky.
Faced with a state-mandated recovery plan that called for either internal transformation — which looked iffy, at best — or conversion to all charter schools, it didn't look as though there would be a York City School District much longer.
Incredible community support and a promise from the teachers union for contract concessions, however, led state-appointed recovery officer David Meckley to opt for the internal transformation plan.
Parents cheered. Teachers applauded.
We were a bit surprised, if only because it seemed the charter-school writing was on the wall.
And we were heartened, also, that the teachers would be willing to make contract concessions to save the school district.
A year later, well, it seems the teachers union wasn't so selfless after all.
Last week the union turned down the district's latest contract offer, resulting in this week's school board announcement that without a contract the district must cut programs and positions to make up a $4 million plus budget deficit.
But after seeing the latest contract offered by the school district, we can hardly blame the teachers.
In addition to taking a 5 percent cut in pay, teachers would have to pay an additional $500 a month for health care for their families, lose their prescription plan and have a $4,000 deductible. Not hard to see why the vote to reject was 220-13.
Secretary and past president of the union Kim Schwarz said the contract would have cost each teacher $11,200 a year ... some close to $15,000 a year. Teachers are willing to keep negotiating, she said, but they can't take this deal.
We wonder if they will accept any deal that involves take-backs now that the district is preparing a plan to make the district all charter by the start of the 2015-16 school year.
That's only a year away.
Even sooner — two weeks from now — the school board will consider a resolution allowing the superintendent to seek charter operators for one, some or all buildings.
Not surprisingly, teachers don't think much of that idea. Schwarz said: "I don't think there would be any positive difference with the charter school conversion. I don't think another school company coming in would have success or do as well as we have. I don't see that change as being welcome.''
A year later, and again: the future of the York City School District looks murky.
This time, we don't see a way out that will leave parents cheering and teachers applauding.