This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
When Craig Murphy walks into the headquarters of the Red Lion School District, just southeast of the city of York, the receptionist greets him with a friendly and familiar hello.
Within minutes, Murphy is talking about taxes. His basic take: There are too many of them and they’re too high.
“I see it that I’m going broke,” he said. “Where do you say enough’s enough?”
Murphy is here on a Thursday night for one of the district’s twice-monthly board meetings. He’s one of the regulars, maybe the only regular. The meetings take place in a small, carpeted conference room with only a few rows of chairs set up for public attendees. Most of them sit empty.
It’s a sleepy meeting. The biggest debate is over a policy mandating that students have at least 20 minutes for lunch. Murphy asks a few questions about the cost of some new vocational programs.
Murphy grew up in the Red Lion School District and sent both his boys through its schools. The area used to be rural, Murphy says, but it’s become more suburban as commuters from Baltimore and Philadelphia fill up new developments.
“You can’t stop outside people from moving in. You wouldn’t want to,” said Murphy, who works at a local water treatment plant. “The problem is they’re making a lot more money than I am. My costs are going up, and I can’t afford it.”