By Jennifer Feals
Portsmouth Herald, April 10, 2011
DURHAM — On a recent day, fresh from a full day at school, more than 200 high school upperclassmen fill a University of New Hampshire auditorium to continue their academic day.
Though it may seem rare for most juniors and seniors to want to learn more after school, being a part of ProjectSEARCH is a highly sought seat at 10 New Hampshire and southern Maine high schools in the program. Despite the interest, coordinators fear tight school budgets may jeopardize the program.
"With today's budget cuts, it's becoming more evident that programs like ProjectSEARCH could be the first to be cut. The reason is it isn't a competitive sport and has only to do with academics," said ProjectSEARCH Program Director Jim Fabiano, a science teacher at Newmarket Junior-Senior High School.
With the state expected to downshift costs to communities, including possibly cutting its contribution to employers' retirement costs, school districts are bracing for a hit. Newmarket's school district estimates it may have to make up for a potential $300,000 loss in 2011-12. The district is exploring more than 10 layoffs.
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