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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 09/26/12
RCS board to scrutinize
by CHRIS GRAYBudget constraints may limit the opportunities for advanced students at Romeo Community Schools.
Observer Staff Writer
The Board of Education will discuss the future of expanding two advanced education programs for students at its Oct. 1 meeting.
The first program is the International Academy of Macomb (IAM), which allows students from 17 Macomb County districts to earn an International Baccalaureate diploma that is recognized all over the world.
The district can only enroll seven students that are selected through a lottery process. For Romeo to have 28 seats - four for each grade level - it'll cost the district $206,528.
Early College is a program that grants 11th grade students both a high school diploma and an associate's degree after completing an additional year of schooling.
The program will cost the district $44,110 in 2012, or $4,900 per student. Four Romeo students have applied to join five others from 2011, with eight more on a waiting list.
On Sept. 4, Superintendent Nancy Campbell said the current seats for each program are budgeted, but there would be an increase if the board approves of going after additional capacity.
"They're two fantastic programs, but they do cost the district money," she said.
She emphasized the importance of the programs, saying two students that couldn't enroll in IAM ended up leaving the district.
Board President Anita Banach said the board's decision focuses on whether the district can expand the number of students that can go on a yearly basis if there are additional seats.
"At this point it's really a financial decision, I think our action on the board already states that it's a good curricular program," she said.
Trustee Ed Sosnoski said he would like to see the full financial impact the programs have on the budget before making a decision. Vice-president Sara Murray said the district should keep track of spending on both advanced and average students.
Secretary Joe Fortuna questioned whether the programs would affect negotiations with the labor unions, and if so, if the board should delay any decisions on the programs.
Campbell said the programs wouldn't cause any problems, but hoped for a decision by December at the latest.