GREENSBORO, N.C. – Parents are asking a lot of questions after the Guilford County school board voted to put the Career and Technical Education Program at Southeast Guilford High School on hold.
It was one of the six premiere programs expected in the county this coming school year.
Guilford County Schools officials say they chose to cut the program at Southeast based on a several factors
Ultimately, the school had the lowest number of applicants with one of the highest renovation budgets.
The school only had 60 rising ninth-graders interested in attending the Engineering and Manufacturing Academy, making it the lowest priority for school officials to keep open.
“He would like to be a mechanical engineer. We were really excited about the Southeast High School CTE program that was announced in January,” Ronica Edgerton said.
Edgerton’s 14-year-old son is already zoned to go to Southeast in the fall. So the potential Manufacturing and Engineering program was perfect for them, until Tuesday night.
“I told him this morning. I said, ‘Sean, they’re not going to have the program.’ He asked why, and I said, ‘Well the funding wasn’t available and Southeast was the one school they’re pulling from,” she said.
Some of the money set aside for the CTE pilot programs will now be used to repair the aging Gateway Education Center.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” Edgerton said.
Tresha Layne, the executive director of Career and Technical Education for Guilford County, calls it a setback.
“It makes you feel a little disappointed and sad for the school and the community that has already invested and gotten on board with the academy and programs,” she said.
Students will have another option to advance their engineering or manufacturing careers.
“Any student who has applied for the Southeast academy can automatically be entered into the applicant pool for Smith High School,” Layne said. “We’re hoping many of them will take advantage of this opportunity.”
But for parents like Edgerton, that’s just not an option.
“I’m a working parent,” she said. “So the transportation would unfortunately be an issue.”
All of the funding decisions still need the county commissioners’ final approval.
Guilford County Schools officials tell FOX8 they’re confident the CTE programs will go through, they are just unsure about the future of the programs, given the change of plans.