Akron Public Schools dedicates new STEM high school while facing $12.2 million budget shortfall

AKRON, Ohio - Akron dedicated its new STEM High School Thursday, the second specialty high school dedicated in the city this week.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. 

Freshman Alex Erisey, who began his STEM education four years ago at the middle school, said it's fun.

"We use a lot of what we call 21st century skills," he said, "and we have a different method called problem-based learning and we use lots of new technology."

Dawn Mihailovich is so glad to have her daughter enrolled that she drives her to and from the school from the other side of town.

"It really challenges her and makes her strive for better," she said.

On Tuesday, Akron dedicated its first New Tech High School located at the John R. Buchtel Community Learning Center.

A news release issued by Akron schools describes the New Tech approach as one that "focuses on the integration of three core elements that work to establish a culture that empowers students and teachers, engages students with rigorous project-based learning, and provides a unique technology platform to reinforce a collaborative learning environment."

The new schools are bright spots in a district that must deal with a $12.2 million budget shortfall, even if a 7.9 mill levy passes in November. 

If Issue 61 fails, the deficit could grow to $25 million.

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