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June 29. 2014 9:11PM

Board to vote on new graphic design program

NASHUA — The school district plans to launch a revised and updated graphic design program as part of its Career and Technical Education program.

The Board of Education will vote tonight on a proposal to spend $129,750 to overhaul the district’s graphic design program, which has been on hiatus for the past year. Board members will also vote on a long list of end-of-the-year budget transfers and several other major expenditures, including technology upgrades, professional development programs and the busing contract.

The graphic design program has been revamped to reflect changes and new standards within the field. According to Vocational Director Michelle Papanicolau, the previous program was centered on printing, while the new program will focus more on visual communication.

Money from the CTE capital improvement fund, which is fed by tuition from out-of-district students who take CTE courses in Nashua, will be used to update the program. While much of the money will be spent on new computers, accessories and software, members of the Board of Education’s Finance Subcommittee questioned roughly $16,000 in proposed spending on new chairs — including eight lounge chairs that cost $500 each — and five pebble stools at $750 each.

Board of Education members are concerned about the out-of-district CTE tuition, which is school district revenue that goes to the city. Traditionally, the city has returned that money to the school district to fund CTE programs, but this year, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau has proposed keeping that money in the city’s general fund to offset the larger-than-expected increase in next year’s school budget.

The CTE capital improvements fund currently has $491,000 and typically increases by $150,000 to $200,000 each year.

CTE directors and advisors for the new graphics design program said the furniture is part of creating a new design center that can compete with other area programs.

“If we want to attract students, it might be worth the expenditure,” said Board of Education chairman George Farrington.

Currently 18 students are enrolled in the new design program with four students coming from other communities.

Finance Committee members Stephen Haas and Kimberly Muise voted to recommend spending $129,750 to the full Board of Education which will make the final call at Monday night’s meeting at 7 p.m. at Nashua High North.

btaormina@newstote.com


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