CLEARFIELD – The Harmony Area School District is requesting to withdraw as a sending district of the Clearfield County Career & Technology Center.
District officials are requesting for Harmony’s withdrawal to be effective at the end of this school year and to be granted a 10-year payment plan for their financial buy-out obligation.
The request was presented to the Clearfield school board during Monday night’s committee meeting. It will be voted on at next week’s regular meeting.
Harmony’s withdrawal must be approved by the other five sending districts – Clearfield, Curwensville, Moshannon Valley, West Branch and Philipsburg.
The Curwensville school board rejected Harmony’s request at its recent meeting, said Clearfield Superintendent Terry Struble. He added that Harmony’s request could change by next week.
When asked about the amount of Harmony’s financial obligation, Struble explained that it was tied to a CCCTC bond issue and the district (Harmony) had hired counsel to calculate its share with interest growth over time.
Student-wise, Harmony sends about 10-15 students to the CCCTC annually. The withdrawal’s impact on the general operating budget isn’t as much of a concern because it can be absorbed, according to Struble.
“It’s just about how we take care of the long-term obligation,” Struble said. “We want to make sure we protect the five remaining schools and the CCCTC.”
Harmony’s school district officials are currently seeking a closer alternative for career and technical education for their students.
Struble said Harmony students have about an hour bus ride to the CCCTC and then back. Some have to travel into Harmony to get the bus.
“Some of those kids have two hours tied up on a bus before they even step inside a school,” Struble said. “They are looking at Admiral Perry (Area Vocational Technical School). It’s about 36 minutes from the school.
“… We get the whole process educationally and what they are looking at doing. We just have to protect everyone else on the financial end of it.”