News-Journal Intern

North East School Board District member David Rodgers, representative to the Erie County Technical School, reported that a lengthy discussion was held at the Thursday, May 27 ECTS Joint Operating Committee meeting on the recommendation to reduce programs to a half-time basis.

The Professional Advisory Council recommended reducing programs in the departments of auto body repair, automotive technologies, computer information systems, drafting and design, and electronics by not accepting applications for the 2010-11 academic year.

Lack of enrollment, especially in the auto body repair and electronics programs, caused the council to question the programs’ viability.

According to the Erie Times-News last week, enrollment in each of the five programs is down 56 percent from five years ago. Reducing the programs to half-time would save on staffing and other costs, said tech school Executive Director, Aldo Jackson.

Fifty to 60 people attended the joint operating committee meeting and according to Rodgers, six instructors and industry members spoke their concern about the proposed staff reduction.

Despite the recommendations, however, the joint committee voted to reject the proposal and plans to therefore maintain the 18 career-training programs at a full time basis for the 2010-11 year.

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