To Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis:
David Meckley and his York City School District Advisory Committee are only considering two recovery plans -- internal reform and 100 percent high performing charters using the Communities in Schools model.
In my view, both of these plans are fatally flawed for five cogent reasons:
1. Both plans will result in more spending and consequently higher taxes for the already taxed-too-high York City citizens.
2. Neither plan is sustainable from a cost standpoint over the long run -- they are just a continuation of patches.
3. The reduction in teachers' salaries and benefits needed to make either plan viable is not attainable in the immediate future and will result in a long, expensive court process.
4. Both plans do not diffuse the concentration of poverty to the surrounding suburbs thus leaving York City with the lowest motivated students.
5. These plans merely kick the can down the road and prolong the inevitable required change.
Consolidation of York City, West York (talking about a new high school) Central, York Suburban and Dallastown school districts needs to be evaluated now by the Advisory Committee because it addresses more realistically over the long run the concentration of poverty problem. A proposed consolidation methodology cost analysis procedure was sent early on to the committee, but it never was considered.
It is respectfully requested that you grant an extension to the York City Advisory Committee with the provision that consolidation of the five districts be thoroughly evaluated. It would be much better for the citizens to shoulder one more tax increase for 2013-14, so they can enjoy relief in future years with higher overall student achievement.
Warren C. Bulette
Spring Garden Twp.