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Varying outlooks surround Tech Valley High

Regardless, many districts still question how useful Tech Valley High School is.

"The major question is: does Tech Valley High School provide a student experience that is different or beyond that which we offer at the district's schools," said Bethlehem Superintendent Les Loomis. "People in the school district, including our staff and board of education, do not have complete information on Tech Valley High School. The board, however, did include a second slot for a freshman at Tech Valley [this year]," he added.

Guilderland Superintendent John McGuire offers a similar outlook. "Our district has been very supportive of Tech Valley. We've seen it as a kind of magnet approach in the heart of Tech Valley," he said.

However, not every district is as supportive, nor can they afford to be. Voorheesville, for example, will not be sending an additional student for the 2008-2009 freshman class. According to Voorheesville Superintendent Linda Langevin, the board's decision was made with concern for how sending a student will benefit the school and how it can be managed financially.

"Other board members had some concerns; they see it as a rather high expense to be made on one child," added Jim Coffin, a Voorheesville school board member.

"It's a good concept. There are other operations like it around the country that generate a lot of enthusiasm, [but] the way the school is being funded needs improvement," he said.

This has angered some parents. "Voorheesville allowed kids to apply and [at that point] everyone was really excited about it. However, a few meetings ago, it became clear the board wouldn't fund another student," said Shari Hoffman-Simsek of Voorheesville, "Smaller districts are not sending students. Are we creating a caste system that excludes smaller districts? They don't realize the benefits the kids bring back."

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