Dead end for driver’s ed after Salem School Board vote
The School Board unanimously supported Superintendent Michael Delahanty’s recommendation that the school do away with the driver’s education program, which several school districts have done in recent years.
That director dealt with all the paperwork associated with the program and also made sure it met all state regulations. However, that director stepped down and the program lost two other certified instructors.
In recent years, Delahanty said it has been harder to keep the program running. A high school teacher who does not act as an instructor took over some of the program director duties, but Delahanty said it was difficult for the teacher to manage the program on top of regular classroom duties.
“Because this is not a required program, I think it is time for us to drop the program,” said Delahanty. If the program were to continue, Delahanty said the district would need to hire new instructors who are not teachers at the high school.
Pinkerton Academy did away with its driver education program about two years ago, according to Jack Grube, Pinkerton’s director of Career and Technical Education.
Since the program ended at Pinkerton Academy, Grube said there hasn’t been much of a push to bring it back. The school does list private driver education programs approved by the Department of Education on its website, but Grube said students mostly find programs through word of mouth.
Grube said there was a time when driver education programs were less expensive for students to take at the high school, but increased competition and a greater number of local driving schools helped to eliminate that difference in price.
Board Chairman Bernard Campbell asked whether it would be possible for the district to rent out space in the high school to a private program for the convenience of the students.
Although there isn’t much of a price difference between programs offered by public school districts and private driving schools, there are a number of districts that continue to provide driver education programs and have had success with them, including Nashua North and South high schools and Goffstown High School.
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