BREWER, Maine — The Brewer School Committee, which recently approved a policy change regarding pregnant students and the Good Samaritan Agency’s Teen Parent Education Program, modified it again Monday night to charge sending districts for their students enrolled in the alternative education program.
“We’re glad that it’s there but we have to have some control here,” Superintendent Jay McIntire said.
The Teen Parent Education Program started in Bangor nearly 30 years ago and is designed to help area pregnant students ages 14 to 20 earn their high school diplomas, executive director Debbie Giguere said Monday.
“For me, the biggest thing is to keep the kids on track — to help them stay in school,” she said.
The Brewer school board changed its pregnant student policy last month to say it would only pay for five months in the Good Samaritan program for Brewer residents. On Monday the board added a line to the policy stating that the “costs for nonresidential students will be the responsibility of the sending district.”
The policy also states that transportation will not be provided unless the student has an individualized education plan or has an identified disability.
There are five pregnant students enrolled at Brewer High School, McIntire said.
The Teen Parent Education Program is designed to be a two-year diploma program with child care available and allows participating students to earn up to 10 credits a year, according to the Good Samaritan website.
In the past, some Brewer High School students have been enrolled in the Good Samaritan program for more than a year at a cost of $600 a month to the school district, the superintendent said.
“The positives of kids going through Brewer is they continue to have guidance [counselor services] and can return to school to graduate,” Giguere said.
Pregnant students in Bangor who are referred to the Good Samaritan program can only graduate through the school department’s Bangor Adult Education program, she said.
“This program started in 1984 and everybody who graduates has said they would not have been able to get their diploma without the program,” Giguere said. “To me, that is very valuable.”