For Immediate Release
Contact: Cindy Hamill
York School District’s Student Achievement Still at Rock Bottom Despite Funding
Spends $656 more per Student than the State Average, Still Fails Students
October 13, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—New research from the Commonwealth Foundation
reveals that for years York City students have suffered in some of Pennsylvania’s worst-achieving public schools—second to last in the state to be exact. That’s despite a steady rise in funding amounting to a 33 percent increase over ten years.
This Wednesday, the York City School Board will be asked to give preliminary
approval a plan to reverse this trend of escalating costs and stagnant achievement.
"Structural change is long overdue if York is to fulfill its obligation to offer
students a quality education," said James Paul, senior policy analyst for the
Commonwealth Foundation. "We hope to inform the ongoing debate as to whether
students deserve a chance at a better education through converting district
schools—whether in part or as a whole—to a charter operator."
Achievement and Funding Analysis
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education:
York City SD ranked 499 of the 500 districts on the 2012-13 State Performance
In math, more than twice as many York students performed "below basic" than the
In reading, nearly three times as many York students performed "below basic"
than the state average.
Funding has increased substantially without a noticeable improvement in achievement:
From 2002-03 to 2012-13, spending per student rose by more than $6,000—a 33%
increase in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Despite the rise in spending, student achievement was essentially flat from 2008-12.
As of 2012-13, York City spent $656 more per student than the state average
"The families of more than 2,300 students in York have already made the choice
to attend charter schools to escape chronically failing district schools. Given
the track record of York City School District, despite boosts in funding and
attempts at reform, it’s no wonder York parents and students are seeking
solutions beyond simply loading more money onto a sinking ship.
"While charter conversion is not a guarantee of immediate success, York charters do outperform district schools."
James Paul and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment.
Please contact Cindy Hamill at (856) 607-4208 to schedule an interview.
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For more information, please contact Cindy Hamill, director of strategic
communications for the Commonwealth Foundation at (856) 607-4208 or
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