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Portage Township dual credit program saves parents on college tuition

Updated: December 19, 2012 12:11PM



The Portage Township School dual credit program — in which high school students receive college credits — has saved Portage students’ parents about $252,000 in college tuition costs just from courses taken during the previous school year, according to a report made to the Portage Township School Board by Assistant Superintendent Tom Taylor at Wednesday’s board discussion meeting.

The 2012 graduating class of 598 students had 202 participate in the dual credit program, for a total of 1,685 college credits granted. Three students alone earned 37 credits each, the equivalent of an entire year of college.

“We had some incredibly high performing students in the Class of 2012,” said Taylor.

Deb Dudek, director of Title and Special Student Programs, told the board the school district has received a Title 1 grant of $1,344,750 from the U. S. Department of Education and a Title 3 grant of $22,134.

The Title 1 grant directly funds 55 staff positions and the Title 3 grant helps support three English as a Second Language assistants.

Title 1 funds are used in part to help underachieving students meet academic standards and Title 3 funds are used to assist students who speak primarily a language other than English.

School Superintendent Ric Frataccia cautioned that the impending federal “fiscal cliff” could imperil the grants and suggested the adoption of a conservative spending strategy.

The school system received approval of a $755,212 loan by the State Department of Education, said Assistant Superintendent Mary Tracy.

The loan will be used to upgrade the phone system and intraserver communication lines to improve and streamline interdepartmental record keeping and data entry.



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