When the $72 million Parker High School campus opened in the Howell (Mich.) district last fall, it was hailed by the state Department of Education as the school of the future. But rising operational costs, lower state funding, dwindling enrollment and a poor economy have forced the school board to look at whether it can afford to keep the 1,300-student school open. The district is weighing several options for Parker as well as Howell High School, which has been undergoing extensive renovations. Howell's dilemma is not unique. In the past few years, several districts have had bonds approved to build or renovate schools only to find now they don't have the money to pay for teachers, janitors, bus drivers and the utilities to keep school running.
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FROM JUNE 2007: Later this year, students will step into the new Parker High School, which Michigan educational leaders are hailing as a statewide model for preparing students for college and their future. The $72 million campus, south of Howell in Livingston County, will have a privately owned credit union and cashless convenience store, both geared toward offering students real-world business training and experience. Lansing Community College will have its own eight-classroom wing, and students will be able to choose from more flexible scheduling options. (Detroit News)