York County township talking "secession" from a school district

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Nov 24, 2014 2:12 PM

(Washington Township, York County) -- A group of residents of Washington Township in York County it wants to "secede" and join another district for the educational benefits.

The Washington Township Education Coalition is asking the state Department of Education to approve the move out of Dover School District and into Northern York County School District.

Ralph McGregor, vice-chair of the group, says Northern York County students score higher on tests.

The coalition has also noted the potential tax benefits on its website, though McGregor denies it plays a role.

"To remove the connotation or the misconcept that people had, they thought, before it was investigated, that taxes would be higher in Northern," he says.

McGregor says about three-fourths of Washington Township residents have signed a petition in favor of the move.

But Holly Feeser, who leads a group opposing the boundary change, says many of the signatures come from locals who don't have kids in school, have since moved, or have changed their minds.

"Which makes this case even more frustrating for the families in Dover Schools because we can't see a blatant change or difference in the scoring that would be a benefit to removing and uprooting 10 percent of the student body in Dover School District," she says.

She's concerned about the chaos that could result.

"How would Dover Township make up that difference? Will property taxes go up? Will school taxes go up? How will the school district absorb that hit?", she asks.

Meanwhile, McGregor hopes more take a look at his group's efforts.

"It's an exciting process also because it has been so rarely used, and maybe there are opportunities out there for other areas that this will encourage and inspire," he says.

The public meeting starts at 5:30 tonight and will be held at North Salem Elementary in Dover, York County.

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