Yesterday, we heard from Joe Landino, a retired farmer from the Blacklands that has turned his efforts to getting the Northeast Regional High School of Biotechnology and Agriscience off the ground. Landino explains the sources of funding for the public high school:
“The main funds are coming from what are called ADM funds, they go with every student. We draw student from five different counties and the ADM monies go with the students. We have 60 students the first year, but we will need to get up to 180 students for the ADM money to carry the school. We have gotten funds from other places including the Golden Leaf Foundation and Race to the Top funds.”
While the school of Biotechnology and Agriscience is a public school, Landino explains that there is an application process to get into the high school, and with it certain criteria the admission board is looking for:
“The school is focusing on young people whose parents have never been to college. This year we have about 90 applicants for 60 slots so we will look at different things to see who will be accepted. If it came down to two students, we would give the nod to one whose parents didn’t attend college versus one whose parents went to college.”
And this beginning class is quite diversified, according to Landino:
“We are 50% black and 50% white, and 50% male, 50% female.”
Joe Landino, retired Blacklands farmer.