Richland’s Paul Mitchell The School has dropped out of the Tri-Tech cosmetology program, forcing some students to make other plans.
A June 6 letter from Tri-Tech Assistant Director Lisa G. McKinney informed the students they won’t be able to attend Paul Mitchell.
“We have been working diligently the past month to explore different solutions and were informed last Friday, June 2, that (Paul Mitchell) would not be able to serve our students,” McKinney wrote.
The Kennewick School District signed contracts last year with the Paul Mitchell school as well as Victoria’s Academy for Cosmetology, said Robyn Chastain, the district’s director of communications and public relations.
“Students get to choose between the programs based on availability,” she said.
When the district asked schools to submit proposals for next year, Paul Mitchell did not send one in, effectively ending its participation.
Chastain’s understanding is the decision was made because of facility space issues, she said.
A representative from the Boise-based Paul Mitchell franchise owner was not available for comment.
Thirty-four students enrolled in the Paul Mitchell program last year, Chastain said. District officials anticipate between 40 and 50 students will enroll in the cosmetology program next year.
Dana Cowley Gribble’s daughter was one of nine Tri-Tech Skills Center cosmetology students planning to return to Paul Mitchell in the fall.
While Gribble’s daughter, and the other students affected, can continue their education at Victoria’s Academy without paying an additional fee, Gribble is looking for answers from the Paul Mitchell franchise owner.
“I attended the new student orientation in the fall, met the staff, and shook hands with the owner,” she said. “There was no discussion then, or during the year, that these students would be cut off at the end of their junior year.”
When Gribble reached out to the owners for answers, she received a call back from someone telling her it was a difficult decision, but not providing any reason why, she said.