Leechburg Area school board to consider allowing full-time enrollment at Lenape Tech
The school board will vote in March whether to allow Leechburg Area High School students to enroll full time again at Lenape Tech, its vocational school in Manor Township.
In October 2012, Leechburg Area become Lenape's only partner district that restricted its students to half-days at the vocational school.
Board members feared full-time enrollment at Lenape hindered the students' access to a well-rounded education and fretted over its tuition costs, said board President Jean Stull, who voted against the measure.
The decision allowed students who were already enrolled full time to finish out their high school years as full-time students at Lenape.
The class of 2017 is the first prohibited from exploring the full-time option.
Students from Leechburg Area, Freeport Area, Apollo-Ridge and Armstrong school districts are restricted to half-day enrollment until 11th or 12th grade.
Whether Leechburg Area students will be able to make that choice hinges on the board's vote next month, which was brought up at Stull's request.
“It's not fair to these kids to prevent them from pursuing an educational environment where they can thrive because of money,” she said.
The district is spending $524,000 this year on tuition for its full-time and half-day students at Lenape. Were all those students restricted to half-day enrollment, tuition costs would fall to $305,000.
“Lenape is a phenomenal program and they do amazing work” said Carlotta Del Vecchio, board vice president. “But how can we not seriously discuss an issue worth $200,000 with the budget being the way it is.”
The district has 38 full-time Lenape students in 11th and 12th grade. There are 15 part-time students among its 11th- and 10th-grade students.
One of them is sophomore Nicholas Yerjevich, who lobbied the board Thursday to allow full-time enrollment at Lenape, where he is studying culinary arts.
“I feel like I miss out on a lot of things I could be learning at Lenape, and I'm left out of a lot of things at Leechburg,” he said. “The things I want to do are at Lenape, and the bus ride in the middle of the day is difficult to adjust to.”
Board member Kathy Vargo estimated that part-time Lenape students spend 150 hours a school year riding a bus. Lukacs did not have Lenape transportation cost figures available on Thursday.
Prazenica alluded to cuts in state education in recent years as the source behind funding woes, which breed “difficult choices.”
“I don't envy these board members,” he said. “The money just isn't coming in the way it used to.
“You see it all across the state: districts are turning to local revenues and are presented with exceedingly difficult circumstances. It's tough.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Harrison woman dead in 3-car crash in Natrona Heights
- Stretch of Freeport Road rezoned
- Armstrong County to try Welshman on indecent assault, related charges
- Kiski Area sells school building
- New Kensington officials eager to demolish 3 fire-ravaged buildings
- Allegheny Valley board reduces transfer to $1.5M
- Cookies for Our Troops marches on
- Fawn fugitive Filous captured, jailed
- Sears at Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer closing in January
- Most wanted fugitive caught in New Kensington
- Oakmont Council meeting becomes heated