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Recovery officers optimistic about Harrisburg, York schools' future

Written by Megan Lello | Jan 30, 2013 4:06 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The two midstate school districts placed under fiscal recovery plans by the state are starting to shape their plans to help boost district finances.

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Gene Veno is the chief recovery officer for the Harrisburg School District. Speaking on witf's Radio Smart Talk, he says the district needs to make itself more appealing to parents and students in the wake of dropping enrollment rates. "We have to, in the mindset of the public, begin branding again the quality that you receive in a public school education, and I think that's been lost over the last decade or so. We've seen these other types of programs coming in, and parents are saying, 'Well, maybe I want my child to go there.'"

Veno, who met with school board directors last evening, says he'd also like to see the "tax-exempt" status for some of the city's buildings be waived to help pay for public education.

David Meckley, chief recovery officer for York City School District, is set to hold a meeting tonight.

He says low spending totals for each student in the district present a problem.

He says he'd also like the state to revisit the way it funds charter schools that pull money out of public school districts.

The recovery officers were appointed last month and have 90 days to come up with a plan to be presented to the school boards.

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