York City School District teachers are ramping up a campaign to "save the district."
"Now is the time to start making people aware of what is going on," Bruce Riek, president of the teachers union, said Wednesday.
During the next few weeks, the union will be circulating a petition members hope to present to the school board later this month, Riek said.
People who sign the petition would be expressing their opposition to converting the district to charter schools.
Recovery: The district is in the midst of a financial recovery process guided by state-appointed chief recovery officer David Meckley.
The district's recovery plan took effect for the 2013-14 academic year. Known as the internal-transformation model, the strategy was proposed by teachers union and administration leaders.
However, charter conversions are the alternative if the transformation model does not achieve its academic goals or if the district is not able to achieve its financial goals. Its financial success hinges on wage and benefit concessions from teachers, support staff and administrators.
So far, the union and the district have been unable to reach an agreement.
However, talks continue.
Riek said he met with district administrators Wednesday to negotiate.
"We are definitely talking," he said.
Decision: The school board has positioned itself to make a final decision before November about whether to turn operations over to an external charter provider or continue on a path of internal transformation.
In the meantime, Riek said, he believes at least some members of the board do not want to see the district managed by a charter company.
Some board members have said so publicly.
So, Riek said, the petition is intended "to let the school board know that they have support within the community."
Riek said members of the union will be asking friends, family and neighbors to sign the petition.
It is not yet available online, he said.
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