Tuesday, January 13, 2015

York Catches a Break

The school board of York, PA, has a chance to convince a court that it is not just a useless appendage. Monday Judge Stephen Linebaugh, the same judge who ruled that York schools should go into receivership, ruled that they get a chance to appeal that action.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had argued that since the previous ruling stripped the board of all power (except the power to tax), they did not have the power to appeal being stripped of their power. The stakes are high because the receiver appointed by the state has already made it clear that his plan is to hand York schools, lock, stock and barrel, to for-profit charter operator Charter Schools USA.

The appeal process will take a while. Specifically, it will take more than enough time for all education-related eyes in the state to turn toward Harrisburg and say," Well......?"

New governors don't always get a chance to be tested right out of the gate, but that's where Tom Wolf finds himself now. Wolf has been pretty quiet on the subject, and only spoke up in opposition when 1) it looked like some teacher support would help his electoral chances and 2) reporter Colleen Kennedy called him out. From Wolf's perspective, this is a big fraught mess-- his home town, his old friends, his new alliances, and his education stance as governor are all tied to this mess.

Come January 20th, Wolf's office could put the kibosh on this state sponsored yard sale of local school power and property, or he could do nothing, or he could put corporate interests ahead of local ones. He has no choice but to show us what kind of education governor he's going to be. Unfortunately, the final line of pennlive's coverage of the story yesterday is this:

A Wolf spokesman did not respond to messages seeking comment on the governor's plans.

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