ACCE Program funding won’t be coming through Pulaski County Schools

While the Board of Supervisors last week approved funding for the county’s participation in New River Community College’s ACCE Program, that funding won’t be coming through Pulaski County Public Schools.

The School Board on Tuesday approved a resolution “appreciating and indeed applauding the desire of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to allow county residents to participate in and receive the benefits of the ACCE Program.”

However, the resolution also stated the school system “cannot and will not” accept an appropriation of public funds from the county to “appropriate or expend” as public matching funds to the NRCC Educational Foundation for the ACCE Program.

Supervisors last week approved the county’s participation in ACCE – Access to Community College Education – with the promise of a $100,000 appropriation.

In their resolution, the county said it would give the money to the school system as part of its local funding for 2019-20, and identified the School Board as the governing body best suited to manage the county’s involvement in ACCE.

In its counter resolution, the School Board states – and its legal counsel agrees – that it has no legal or statutory authority to expend or appropriate public funds to NRCC’s Foundation in support of ACCE, and may not lawfully do so.

The School Board’s resolution “respectfully encourages” the Board of Supervisors to work with the NRCC Foundation to provide the matching funds for ACCE “in a manner consistent with other local governments currently participating in the ACCE program.”

ACCE is an economic development public/private partnership that makes college debt-free to high school and home-schooled graduates by funding NRCC tuition for two years.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot

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