No JROTC for Fredonia

It appears a Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program will not be happening soon at Fredonia Central Schools.

High School Principal Darrin Paschke presented what he found in response to community inquiries about starting a JROTC program in the district. Paschke did not have good news for those who wanted to see the program start. He said he inquired with the local JROTC brigade’s command and was told they are not expanding at this time.

In addition, JROTC will only expand when another school’s program ends — and there is a large waiting list for that. The principal continued that there would be three things working against Fredonia High School on that front — its late arrival to the waiting list, the fact that it has less than 1,000 students and the fact that it is not a low-income district.

Paschke added that, unlike with sports, Fredonia students cannot participate in another district’s JROTC program. Finally, he said it would cost the district $200,000 a year in start-up costs for the first two years of the program, and it would have to hire two instructors, a commissioned officer and a non-commissioned officer.

“I’m rather disappointed in what I heard,” said board member Tom Hawk. “Sharing, and that not being allowed — seems rather weak thinking.” He wondered if BOCES could get involved with JROTC somehow and Paschke said he would look into it.