SOUTH BEND --- Some officials say an education program could attract new economic development and an educated workforce. Others say the focus needs to be on state-mandated cuts. South Bend's New Tech High School program has been on the table and off the table. On Monday night it appeared the idea was on again — but not without much debate, as school board members discussed several options to shave $8 million from the budget. One of the options mentioned during Monday's meeting was to establish the New Tech school inside Riley, with the help of grants. Superintendent James Kapsa suggested the move could be done by moving the Early College program out of that school and into Studebaker. "I was shocked when the concept of New Tech was part of the presentation," said Bill Sniadecki, South Bend School Corporation member. Sniadecki supports the effort, but he believes the time to do it isn't right now. "It was voted down six months ago by the board," he said. But the big question is: if not now, then when? "Education is critical," said Phil D'Amico, with the St. Joseph County Chamber. D'Amico says strong education systems attract economic development. "I get that question all the time --- ‘What's your education system like?’" D'Amico said. As the city, county and Notre Dame work to recruit companies to grow and develop at both Ignition and Innovation Park, D'Amico believes a New Tech school could help those efforts. "It's going to be extremely critical for our area as we get into the nanotechnology initiatives and research and technology initiatives," he said. The schools have been success stories for other cities, but the situation in Indiana is much different. Here, the state has tightened the wallet. And for Sniadecki, it's reason enough to hold off, for now. "I was always in favor of the New Tech school if we could afford it," he said. "But, there are hard times now."