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District's takeover plan questioned

August 25, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Area School Board's expressed desire to take control of the Franklin County (Pa.) Career and Technology Center "can't happen," Career Center Joint Operating Committee Chairman Stanley Barkdoll said Thursday.

The move is in violation of the articles of agreement that formed the career center's governance in the 1960s, Barkdoll said.

Any change to the articles of agreement would require legal review and a majority vote by the county's six school boards, which share control over the center they use, he said.

The Chambersburg Area School Board on Wednesday said it would vote Sept. 27 on its school realignment plan. Two of its three options call for it to take over most, if not all, operations at the career center.

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Yet, the career center's joint operating committee doesn't meet until Sept. 28 and made no move during its regular meeting Thursday to pinpoint its stance. The matter was discussed briefly.

"We are going to try to come up with ... a business plan for whatever we would envision incorporating into our secondary plan. ... We need to build some buildings to incorporate our increased enrollment," said Stanley Helman, one of Chambersburg's representatives on the joint operating committee.

No plans were submitted on Chambersburg's behalf to the joint operating committee.

Barkdoll said during the meeting that he had polled the individual members of the joint operating committee, which is made up of school board representatives.

"There is a strong desire in every one of the participating districts that we see this center thrive," Barkdoll said, not elaborating on how that plays into its future ownership.

He said in generalities that the joint operating committee supports Chambersburg's need to address its increased enrollment.

Chambersburg Area School District, for the first time, will send 500 students to academic classes at the career center. The district accepted financial responsibility for developing those classes and allocating space.

The Chambersburg board also has discussed building a larger academic wing at the career center.

"There's nothing in (the articles of agreement) that says how you handle an expansion funded by one district," Barkdoll said.

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