It looks like Broughton High School has a chance to keep its International Baccalaureate program even though it's still losing its status as a magnet school.
The school board's student achievement committee agreed Tuesday to recommend allowing Broughton to remain an IB themed non-magnet school. The full board could vote Tuesday.
The big caveat here is that the recommendation doesn't include a guarantee of funding once the magnet money runs out in 2013. The program could die then unless $180,000 a year is scrounged up to keep it running at Broughton.
Here's the history lesson.
The old school board had voted in October 2008 to keep Broughton as an IB magnet school. But when the three-year reassignment plan came out calling for mass movement out of the school to free up magnet seats, parental lobbying resulted in the board's December 2008 vote to demangetize Broughton and move the IB program to Millbrook High.
The Broughton parents at the Inside the Beltline Raleigh school who wanted to keep the IB program have been reaching out to the new board members elected last fall.
School board member John Tedesco said leaving Broughton as a base IB school fits in with his idea of creating themed academies in the different community assignment zones. He noted how Wake has "spent millions so far on keeping a wonderful program" at Broughton.
A big impetus for the committee's recommendation for letting Broughton stay on, nominally in perpetuity, as an IB school is that no additional funding is called for through 2012-13.
As part of the magnet phase out, Broughton is still receiving money to operate the IB program through the 2012-13 school year. This was done because Millbrook High is still ramping up its IB program and won't be educating its first magnet students until this August.
Tedesco said hopefully the district's finances will be in better shape in 2013 to continue funding the IB program at Broughton.
Under the recommendation, Broughton would continue to offer the IB Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12. For cost reasons, Broughton would have to abandon the IB Middle Years Programme in grade 9 and 10.
Broughton Principal Stephen Mares said having a formal board vote they can keep the IB program, even without a guarantee of money past 2012, is important. He said it means they'll be able to keep up their IB accreditation.
Mares said a board vote also means that rising freshman will know they can take the IB Diploma Programme in 2012 as juniors. Whether they'd be able to continue in 2013 as seniors would be up in the air.
The slimmed-down IB program would only be for base students. Broughton won't be accepting new magnet students unless they're younger siblings of current magnet students.
Tedesco said leaving Broughton as an IB school will help it compete with private schools and charter schools for base students.
It was stressed Tuesday that Broughton woudld not be directly competing against the IB magnet programs at Garner and Millbrook high schools. Arguably though, leaving Broughton as an IB school might discourage base kids from applying to other IB high schools.
REVISED TO REFLECT THAT IT'S NOW ESTIMATED IT WOULD COST $180,000 AND NOT $150,000 ON AN ANNUAL BASIS TO KEEP THE IB PROGRAM AT BROUGHTON STARTING IN 2013