BAR HARBOR — Grants and private donations are being sought to fund a teaching position in the Mount Desert Island Adult Education Program for the coming academic year.
The estimated one-year cost for salary and benefits is $65,000.
The teacher would work with students pursuing a high school equivalency diploma, as well as those taking college transition classes and classes on adult literacy and English as a second language.
The adult education program, based at MDI High School, has grown substantially over the past three years, with Anne Patterson serving as both director and the primary teacher for all academic students.
Last year, two high school teachers were hired as after-school tutors for some adult education students. But continuing that arrangement is not feasible because of the program’s growth and the increasing needs of students, according to Patterson and other school officials.
However, funding for an adult education teacher was not included in the high school’s 2016-2017 budget.
A letter signed by high school Principal Matt Haney, high school board Chairman Ingrid Kachmar and Patterson is being sent to certain foundations, organizations, businesses and individuals seeking donations to fund the teaching position.
“We will only need funding for one year, as we will be recommending that this position become part of the adult education budget for the following year,” the letter states.
“Each student who completes their high school credential becomes more employable and for some of these students, they can now pursue higher education or a specific skills certificate, allowing them access to better jobs.
We want to continue to be able to meet the needs of all of our students so they can support themselves and their families, as well as positively impact the communities in which they live.”
This spring, 10 adult learners earned high school equivalency diplomas through MDI Adult Education. That was the same number as in the previous two years combined.
“We would hate to lose the momentum this program has achieved,” the school officials wrote in their letter requesting donations.
In addition to the academic program for which the teacher would be hired, the high school’s adult education program includes more than 70 “enrichment” classes taught for and by community members. Those classes focus on such diverse interests as beekeeping, knitting and line dancing.