Tech-magnet expansion to incur busing costs of $2,700 a pupil

March 27, 1998|By Erin Texeira | Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF

A school board plan to expand Howard County's technology-magnet program to Oakland Mills High School next year would cost the school system more than $2,700 per pupil to bus Oakland Mills students to various campuses, school officials said yesterday.

Those officials had recommended that the board not follow through on earlier plans to expand the tech-magnet program to Oakland Mills, its third campus, because of declining enrollment.

But the board backed the expansion to accommodate all students interested in the program. Under the board's plan, the 30 students taking communications -- the most popular of the tech-magnet program's five "clusters" -- would stay at Oakland Mills. But 38 taking other courses would have to be bused.

"We are retaining the recommendation you gave us, but we wanted you to know the ramifications," Sandra Erickson, associate superintendent of instructional services, told board members yesterday.

Eugene Streagle, instructional coordinator in charge of high schools, said the relatively low numbers of students involved would keep the transportation costs to $105,000, but he said, proportionately, that cost was "exorbitant."

On April 8, the board will decide which tech-magnet proposal to use.

Also at the meeting, a school official said two middle schools scheduled to open in 2000 likely will have names that reflect the history of their communities. Students who were surveyed this year suggested dozens of names for the schools, and a committee narrowed the list to two for each campus, said Alice Haskins, instructional coordinator for middle schools.

The middle school in western Howard next to Fulton Elementary may be named Lime Kiln or Waters Field. Proposed names for the school in northeastern Howard next to Ilchester Elementary are Bonnie Branch or Bonnie Grove.

Pub Date: 3/27/98

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