Granite Board of Education acted Tuesday to stomp out a brush fire, assuring patrons that a program for teen parents is not on the chopping block - at least not yet.
An auditorium full of teachers, parents and students, many of them with their own children in tow, appealed to the board to preserve the program. They were responding to rumors and to the fact that nine teachers in the program had received tentative termination notices.Board members tried to head the situation off at the pass, explaining that the termination notices were sent to meet a legal requirement that the district notify teachers of areas where funding shortages appear imminent. In all, about 300 teachers in the district have received such notices, particularly those involved in vocational programs that face budget cuts.
"If there are going to be budget problems, we are required to notify teachers by April 1," said Board President Lynn D. Davidson. However, he said, the board has never discussed actually doing away with the program for teen parents and, in fact, is very supportive of the concept.
"We're in favor of supporting it in every way possible," said board member Patricia Sandstrom. Board members will consider the program's needs when they delve into the 1989-90 budget. They may have to shift money from other programs to keep the special classes for young parents.
A spokeswoman for the special program, saying she was "delighted to be set straight," noted that 48 students will get their diplomas through the program this year. At any given time, about 30 adolescents, primarily mothers, are in the classes. They bring their children to school and get instruction in parenting, along with needed support and acceptance from others in like circumstances, she said.
Of this year's class, 100 percent plan to pursue additional education, she said.
Davidson said the district's funds for vocational education, part of which finance the teen parent program, have "floated down" and will have to be redistributed.