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Legislation would jeopardize program

DALLAS — The Dallas School District is watching carefully a bill introduced this legislative session that could affect its Extended Campus Program and similar programs in other districts.

Extended Campus, Dallas’ fifth-year — and now sixth-year — program, allows students to attend up to two years at Chemeketa Community College for free. Programs like Extended Campus are paid for with state funding as students enrolled in the programs defer receiving their diplomas, technically remaining high school students.

One bill in particular might threaten the popular DHS program that now allows students the possibility of earning an associate degree concurrent with a diploma.

Senate Bill 322, sponsored by Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), would establish a funding mechanism that would allow $4,500 for each student enrolled in a fifth-year program if they take at least 45 quarter credits per school year.

However, Dallas High School Assistant Principal Brian Green said there has been a recommendation to amend the bill to cut participation in programs in half by 2016 and eliminate them completely in 2017 because of concerns of using funding designated for K-12 education to pay for college classes.

Dallas Business Manager Tami Montague reported to the Dallas School Board Monday that the bill will be tracked closely as it moves forward.

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