This article at Lancaster OnLine about possible next year’s school tax increases says “Columbia Borough … can raise taxes up to 2.8 percent.” That’s an alarming the possibility given the high increase in 2014-15.
NEWS RELEASE – PA Department of Education
Harrisburg – Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq today filed a petition with the York County Court of Common Pleas to place York City School District into receivership and appoint Dave Meckley as receiver.
“For nearly two years, Mr. Meckley has attempted to work with the school board to implement a financial recovery plan – approved by the board in June 2013 – that would ensure students have access to quality academic programs while restoring fiscal stability to the district,” Dumaresq said. “During this time, the board has consistently failed to follow the recovery plan and the directives of the chief recovery officer. It is now necessary for the district to be placed into receivership so the recovery plan can to be fully executed for the benefit of the students and to return the district to financial solvency.”
Under provisions of the School District Financial Recovery law, in December 2012, the Department of Education placed the district in Moderate Financial Recovery Status and appointed Meckley as chief recovery officer.
In creating the recovery plan, Meckley worked with an advisory committee, obtained input from the public and met frequently with the board, district and school administrators, teachers and staff to develop the plan.
Since the recovery plan was approved by the board in June 2013, the board has refused to implement the plan as required, leaving the district unable to advance academic achievement and begin fiscal recovery.
Dumaresq noted several areas in which the school board has failed to adhere to the financial recovery plan: taking action that is inconsistent with the plan, not specifically identified in the plan or not directed by the chief recovery officer as being necessary to implement the plan.
Today’s filing is supported by elected officials and business leaders throughout York County.
“The York City School District has failed the students and parents of the city,” said state Senator Scott Wagner. “The children of York City deserve the thorough and efficient education guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The only option left that will guarantee that education is for the district to be placed in receivership. I applaud the work that Recover Officer Meckley has done, and I support the petition by Secretary Dumaresq. I realize that this issue is emotional and complex. It is time to try another option – change is good and healthy – and can be exciting.”
“Dave Meckley is the right person to address the serious problems the school board refused to tackle,” said state Representative Stan Saylor. “Dave’s financial and leadership skills are evident to all who know him, and I believe he will take the steps needed to ensure York City students get the education needed to be successful in life.”
“This decision is in the best interests of the current and future students of the York City School District,” said state Representative Seth Grove. “I am discouraged that school district officials were not able to use the School District Financial Recovery law to resolve the issues holding it back, but I am hopeful that the appointment of Dave Meckley as receiver will set the district on a path to success.”
Meckley, 63, of Spring Garden Township, York County, graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Franklin County, and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University.
He is president and owner of Strategic Advantage Inc., which he founded in 2001.
He is a former president and chief executive officer of Flinchbaugh Engineering Inc., and currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors.
Active in the York community, Meckley serves as director of Better York and the Children’s Home of York, and is a member of the York County Agricultural Society.
The law requires the court to hold a hearing within seven days of the petition’s filing and to issue an order approving or denying receivership within 10 days of the hearing.