Program turndown was right

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2005

“24,500 – plus or minus, and I expect it to be plus.”

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Evan Major told the board of education that the growth in school population since last year is astounding.

With this many students system-wide, it was important that the School Board turn down the Early College Enrollment Program initiative.

While possibly valuable for a few students in Shelby County, this program, open to only 25, would have cost the county $50,000 per year.

And its benefit – a jumpstart on college or trade school for those 25.

While that’s positive and helpful for those few, we must keep in mind those 25 students represent less than 1 percent of the student population.

Let’s face it, our school system has its hands full preparing students for their futures.

There is no money to spend paying for them to go to college.

Shelby County students can still make use of the Dual Enrollment program, through which they can attend and potentially receive college credit while still in high school.

The difference is that the cost for this service is the student’s – not the school system’s.

Managing and meeting the needs of a growing system with an ever-increasing student population is a difficult job.

Shelby County officials definitely made the right choice this time.