HANCOCK — The Hancock Public School Board is reviewing funding options that would allow it to continue to keep the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program in operation. The board held a special meeting recently to discuss solutions that would fund the program.
JROTC is a congressionally mandated program that focuses on the youth-oriented mission of “Motivating Young People to be Better Citizens.” It is one of the largest youth programs in the world with more than 310,000 high school students participating annually, and the district is making an effort to see that the program continues for Keweenaw students.
“I think that what everybody understands having the program is that your impacting a child and, for some students, this is a great place,” said Hancock Public School Superintendent Kip Beaudion.
Beaudoin says that enrollment in the program has declined over the years and the board is looking at alternative solutions, such as transferring it to Houghton Schools. However, Army guidelines do not allow a direct transfer and there’s no guarantee that the program would go to Houghton if Hancock ended it’s involvement.
“The Department of Defense doesn’t allow that. So you cant just move the check from point A to point B even though you’ve changed no personnel. What would happen is the program would have to back into the hopper for the DOD and the have to be reallocated,” Beaudion added.
Beaudoin also says that his office has reached out to Senator Jack Bergman for help with some of the legalities.