North Country tech program loses funding

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Adirondack Pathways in Technology, better known as ADK P-Tech, is on its way out of the North Country.

Sixty students from Peru, Beekmantown, Plattsburgh and Saranac work daily in the ADK P-Tech program at Peru Senior High School, gaining knowledge and a skill set for STEM-based careers. At the end of it, they'll have an associate's degree.

The program started in 2013 as a part of the New York state and federally funded Early College High School Initiative. But the seven-year grant to fund the program is running out.

On March 29, the ADK P-Tech leadership council decided to phase the program out. They're trying to do that in a way that hurts students the least.

In a statement, Sen. Betty Little said, "P-Tech is a valuable education program and dovetails perfectly with a lot of the jobs being created in our region... If there was something more to consider, I would welcome being a part of that discussion."

Assemblyman D. Bill Jones released a statement that said, "Since the inception of the program in 2013, I have had several opportunities to see first-hand how ADK P-Tech has helped students from across the district reach new heights in their academic careers... I was disappointed to learn of the decision to phase out this program, over the next few years."

The interim president of ADK P-Tech, Cynthia Ford-Johnson, is working with the schools in the program to plan a re-entry of students to their high schools.

Staff members plan to meet Wednesday night with parents and guardians of students in the program to answer any questions they might have. But they say it's still very new, so they don't have a lot of those answers quite yet. They say they are working to get them answered as soon as possible.