Sunday, June 7, 2015

More on JTED cuts - viewed as a "death knell"

Here is another Daily Star report (by Luis Carrasco) on the impact of budget cuts on JTED programs.

Joint Technological Education Districts in Arizona will not survive the cuts the new state budget imposes, officials say, and they are counting on the business community to sway lawmakers in their favor.

"We have really good support from businesses. Business is what got JTED passed by the voters," said Pima County JTED Superintendent Alan Storm.

"Good support?" I guess just not when it came to funding. I guess just not perceptible among GOPlins who crafted the budget.

JTED in Southern Arizona was approved in 2006 to offer tuition-free career and technical education programs to high school students from public, private, charter and home schools. Adults under 22 with a GED or who are studying to get one may also participate.

Throughout the state, JTEDs offer dozens of programs in fields including engineering, bioscience, health care, automotive and public safety.

Most classes are taught at local high schools, with only about 10 percent of students attending a central campus.

"We’re economic development, we’re workforce development, we’re putting kids to work at 18," Storm said. "Everything we say in the state of Arizona, we talk about college and career ready — we are part of that."

While state-funded education overall experienced cuts — including $28 million next year for the Uni.versity of Arizona and $7 million for Pima Community College — officials said the reduction to JTEDs is a death blow.

"Are there ways to overcome it? Are their ways to survive? I’ve looked at consolidating things but I just don’t think so. I don’t know how it’s possible," Storm said.

My suggestion: count on voodoo economics. AZ Governor Dicey Dougie Duce will be there for you.

Although his office did not respond when asked for comment, Gov. Doug Ducey addressed cuts to JTED during a recent Hispanic Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

"JTEDs and technical training is critical to the future of our state, and it will continue to be critical to the future of our state," Ducey said.

"We had to do what had to be done in this budget session. That doesn’t mean that we can’t grow, that the state won’t expand, that there won’t be additional dollars available."

Where the dollars may eventually come from is up for debate.

Just don't hold your breath waiting for any kind of public debate in the next session of the crAZy idioture.

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