School Board Looking Ahead At IB Program Funding Changes

Andrew Trzaska | February 17, 2011

Grant funding for Muskegon Public Schools’ International Baccalaureate program ends next year.  At Tuesday’s school board meeting a member of the public asked the district to start talking about how to keep the program going.

Frank Munster, who resides within the district, questioned the lack of public discussion in the city and in the district about how the program may be funded after the grant’s expiration.  Munster expressed concerns that the discussion had not grown beyond unconfirmed rumors of the program’s elimination.

The International Baccalaureate, or IB, is a rigorous educational program that also acts as a certifiable standard for college admissions.  It differs from Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum programs because of its multicultural, international focus.  IB diploma requirements are dictated by the International Baccalaureate Organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the Muskegon Public Schools website, the Muskegon High School IB program requires students to complete the IB diploma requirements in addition to the district’s standard curriculum.

IB Middle Years programs are also available at Bunker and Steele middle schools for students grades 6 through 10.

Munster stressed that high-achieving students currently in the program might be left to flounder if they do not continued to be challenged.

“Are you going to keep slugging away as hard as you can if you know it’s going to be wiped away next year?”

Acting Superintendent Betty Savage stated that the district would be looking at all resources and how to fund programs like the IB program in the coming months.

IB curriculum coordinators had not responded to phone calls at the time of publishing.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst