After much debate, the Board of Education committed itself Monday night to placing ninth-graders in Broadneck High School, even though itmay be years away from living up to that commitment.
Making room for ninth-graders from Severn River Junior means expanding the schoolat an estimated cost of $16.4 million -- about $1.2 million more than the entire cost of the proposed Meade Area Middle school.
But state officials refuse to commit to the plan until all 500 empty seats at Magothy River Middle and Severn River Junior are filled.
"It is hard to vote for this because there are so many other schools that are in bad shape," board member JoAnn Tollenger said during Monday night's meeting. "We just put in an auditorium, and the state has already said it is not going to pay for this (expansion). On the other hand, I feel sorry for those people."
Broadneck has turned into something of a money pit since it opened in 1982. Too small almost from day one, thanks to restrictive state budget guidelines, the school had an auditorium added at county expense in 1988.
"We shouldtell people the truth. It may go to a 9-12 (alignment), but not in my lifetime. It's a cop-out to say you want to do it and that you're not going to give the money."
Tollenger, along with Thomas Twombly and Patricia Huecker, voted against the new alignment.
"I'm between a rock and a hard place," director of planning and construction Mike Raible said, urging board members to make adecision. "I'm planning a building, and I don't know how many people to plan for. About the only thing that will not have to be (expanded) at Broadneck is the newauditorium. Just about everything else is too small."
Board members also approved a plan to move graduates of Belvedere Elementary from Severna Park to Broadneck high school, contingent upon space becoming available at Broadneck.
"I don't want Broadneck to feel left atthe altar again," board member Vincent Leggett said.
Twombly and Tollenger voted against the proposal, with Huecker abstaining.
With much less fuss, board members approved a plan for Fort Meade schools that should help keep students from military families together.
In a 5-3 vote, approval was given to a grade 6-8 middle school alignment in the Meade area beginning next year. Two middle schools will behoused at MacArthur Middle until the new $15.2 million Meade Area Middle is completed.
Earliest projections call for the school to be completed by 1994.
Under the new plan, students attending Manor View, Meade Heights, Pershing Hill, Van Bokkelen and West Meade elementary schools will attend the new school.
The board also decided Monday to realign schools in the Severna Park area to K-5 elementary schools and 6-8 middle schools in September 1992.
School board members also voted to increase fees for continuing education courses and summer school.
Tuition for evening high school and secondary summer school will increase from $75 to $100 per course for remedial credit, $150 for original credit. Class sizes will range from 12 to 26students.
Elementary summer academy fees will increase from $50 to $75 per course. Class sizes will be increased from 15 to 19.
Maryland External Diploma program fees will increase from $40 to $50.
The school board's contribution for the program for training disadvantaged adults will decrease from $30,000 to $15,000.
Tuition waivers will continue to be offered to students from families receiving public assistance for evening high school and summer school programs.