Source: Sherman Publications

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Lead the Way approved despite funding questions

by Wendi Reardon

June 22, 2011

Clarkston Board of Education voted 4-3, June 13, to approve Project Lead the Way as a permanent program at Clarkston High.

Vice-president Sue Boatman asked the motion be amended to require the engineering program to remain self-funding, especially salaries and benefits.

Steve Hyer, board president, opposed that idea, saying it is unrealistic.

"We should allow administration to do their job," Hyer said. "We shouldn't hamstring them. We don't do that with any other programs."

"We are in a budget reducing mode," Boatman responded. "This came at a bad time for us and we will be doing more cuts next year. We need to leave the door open to figure out which does the most."

Trustee Elizabeth Egan pointed out they had a three-year projection of costs.

"I don't want to tie hands of the kids in it and the teachers," Egan said. "We don't know what is coming in year four. We are throwing away an opportunity."

Treasurer Rosalie Lieblang agreed they didn't know what future funding would be and added that is why they should add the funding-requirement amendment.

The amendment failed, 4-3.

Secretary Joan Patterson added she would like to see what colleges would accept the program as college credit.

The program is $10,167.80 for the first year and is funded by grants from Reid Family Foundation and Oakland County Intermediate School District, and the federal vocational/career grant.