Thu07302015

Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

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Behind-the-wheel driver education could be reinstated

The King George School Board is once again talking about the possibility of reinstating behind-the-wheel driver education for 10th graders.  
The School Board had eliminated behind-the-wheel instruction as part of its driver education program last February to save money.  
The behind-the-wheel portion had originally been deleted to save an estimated $13K for the remainder of the last school year due to a significant revenue shortfall from the state.  
The deletion of the program was carried forward into the 2008-09 budget and the current school year, so only the classroom portion of the driver education program is being offered at King George High School.
The School Board took action on September 24 to revise a policy addressing the provision of driver education.  The revised policy was adopted by a vote of 4-1, with Lynn Pardee voting against the action.  
Adoption of the revision resulted in removing references to providing behind-the-wheel instruction.
But the topic was discussed again at a meeting last month at Pardee’s request.  
At the November 12 meeting, Pardee pushed for the School Board to consider reinstating the program.
“I really feel there is a real population out there that would like to have it offered,” Pardee said.  
Pardee had noted at a meeting on September 10 that a section of state law provides the ability for divisions to request authorization to assess a surcharge in order to further recover program costs that exceed state funds distributed through basic aid to school divisions offering driver education programs.
Pardee said at the last meeting, “There really is no cap in what amount we can request to charge.”
She added that the division should probably absorb some of the costs, but could come up with a fee that reflects a portion of the true costs for the program.  
Pardee got agreement to look at offering the program beginning in 2009-10 from School Board members Renee Parker and Payne Kilbourn.  
Chairman Dennis Paulsen asked Superintendent Candace Brown to bring back additional information at a future meeting.  
Paulsen said, “I would like to know what is out there and what kids are doing and costs, etc.”
He added, “I would be happy to entertain it for next year’s budget, but it may not even be necessary to do it.”  
Paulsen also asked, “Is there any kind of outsourcing that we could do for that?”  
Brown said she would check into different options and report back.

By Phyllis Cook, Staff Reporter

 

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