Two York City School Board members will serve on a committee created to develop a state-mandated financial recovery plan for the district.
Board president Margie Orr and member R. Jane Hines were appointed Wednesday by their fellow board members to be part of the 20-member committee to craft a plan that will ultimately be penned by York City's state-appointed Chief Recovery Officer, David Meckley.
Meckley, a former York Suburban School Board member, is president and owner of Strategic Advantage Inc. He received the CRO appointment from Department of Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis.
The department placed the city district on "moderate" financial recovery status on Dec. 12, placing it firmly under the supervision of the state.
The status gives the state power to make recommendations on what should happen with the district budget, recommendations that the board must approve or face the threat of a receiver who won't need to ask for permission.
The city school board also appointed Keith Still, principal of McKinley K-8, to the committee.
Meckley, a Spring Garden Township resident, said the names of all his fellow committee members will be made public within the next few days. The committee's first meeting will be held this month, though a date has yet to be determined, he said.
The committee, which will meet one to two times a month, will be made up of York City administrators, board members, community members and other involved educators.
Meckley said the committee won't meet in public, but public forums, which also will start this month, will give the community a chance to get committee updates. Forum dates will be determined after the committee begins meeting, Meckley said.
"When we have our first meeting, we'll start by trying to get people up to speed about what is going on," he said.
The financial recovery plan could include ideas such as converting schools to charters, reducing programs and reopening contracts, although the state couldn't force a wage freeze.
Meckley would ensure that the board is following the plan.
The timeline from designation as a district in moderate financial recovery to plan submission to the school board is 90 days, Meckley has said, which would put that date in March. There is some leeway, though, as an extension can be sought.
If the board rejects the plan, the two sides would have up to one year to develop a plan that works for everyone.
If no agreement is reached, the state would petition the Court of Common Pleas to appoint a receiver for the district, and if the court agrees, the city school district would have no choice but to follow the state's plans.
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