York City School District has a hearing date to fight its preliminary status as a district in "financial recovery."

The state Department of Education and York City officials will meet at 9 a.m. Oct. 17 in Harrisburg, according to department spokesman Tim Eller.

A hearing officer provided by the department will listen to arguments over the financial recovery status. The state wants to use that status to give it a reason to take over district finances and implement a state-guided recovery plan. A financial recovery officer would be appointed by the state to oversee the plan.

State lawmakers, including Senate Education Committee chairman Jeffrey Piccola, said districts such as York City have for too long had financial problems and not shown results for all of the state funding they've received.

The district is trying to avoid state intervention, as the state could force York City to shut down schools, reduce programs, and more. Superintendent Deborah Wortham has said her district is already on the path to recovery and implemented drastic changes, such as switching to a K-8 model for the lower grades.

The department secretary, Ronald Tomalis, will have the final say, Eller said. And it's possible that after the initial supporting documents are sent in, the state might decide to skip the public meeting.

- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com



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