Charter Schools

York, PA, School Officials Try To Lure Families Who Fled to Charters

We don't suck, anymore!

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Seven people focused their eyes on the door of a Hartley Street home, waiting to see if someone would respond to an enthusiastic knock.

They got lucky this time. A woman, clearly shocked at the unexpected audience, peeked outside.

Tamara Willis, an assistant superintendent for the York City School District, broke the ice: "You're important!"

Like a well-seasoned salesman, Willis went for the pitch, telling the woman her kids should return to York City schools. Behavioral issues are being handled differently. Overcrowding is no longer a problem in classrooms, she said.

"It's a new day," Willis told the woman. "It's not business as usual."

On a Wednesday morning, with gray clouds threatening, two York City teachers, an administrative assistant, the district's security director, a parent, a 9-year-old student and Willis ventured into the neighborhoods surrounding McKinley Elementary to woo the parents of children enrolled in charter schools.