The incoming head of the York City School District teachers' union this week complained the state-appointed recovery officer's mind is already made up.

Union president-elect Bruce Riek even went so far as to claim David Meckley already drafted his recommendation for a full conversion of district schools to charter schools.

Hardly shocking allegations.

Meckley's 20-person financial recovery committee has been considering options since January. After receiving two month-long extensions from the state Department of Education, his plan to right the district's financial ship is due in a little more than two weeks.

He'd better have a pretty good idea by now of what that recommendation is going to be.

After all, there are only two on the table right now -- converting to all charters, or letting the district transform itself with magnet schools, adding pre-kindergarten classes, cutting wages and more.

Meckley, appointed last December after the state placed the York City School District in "moderate financial recovery," says no decision has been made, although he has drafted a variety of options as part of the process.

The recovery committee, made up of community leaders in and outside of York City, will vote for an option Thursday, but the final call is Meckley's to make.

He'll present his recommendation to the York City School Board on May 15. Maybe no decision has been made, but -- as we said -- realistically, Meckley is probably leaning one way or another at this point.


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His "recommendation" is really that in name only. The school board is free to reject his plan, but the state has said it will then take to board to court and force it to comply.

The only thing certain now is that big changes are in store for the district, and they're not likely to please everyone.

A full charter conversion has never been done in Pennsylvania, so York would be wading into uncharted waters with that plan. It also would mean every teacher would be furloughed and have to reapply for their jobs.

While the transformational plan would include major concessions in salaries and benefits from employees, why should anyone believe they're now up to the task of turning the district around? The teachers and administrators have had years to make improvements -- and either couldn't or wouldn't.

One is not head and shoulders above the other. In fact, the independent consultant hired by the state to analyze the recovery committee's options ranks them basically even.

Whether everyone agrees with the eventual recommendation, we hope everyone eventually can rally behind it.

The district has its work cut out for it no matter which way it goes, and changes won't happen over night.

But the best results will occur if everyone is moving in the same direction.