June 14, 2013: Adult Education funding has been restored!
Three years ago, all funding for adult education in the state of Arizona was eliminated. But because of the passion and perserverance of our students, the persistence and strength of our leaders and sustained support by our advocates in the community, we have been successful in raising public awareness about the value of adult education to Arizona. We are incredibly proud of our adult education community, and thankful to all who have continued to support us on this long haul to getting funding reinstated. Congratulations to all!!
Read the entry below to better understand the challenges we have faced and how far we’ve come since 2010. Well done, supporters of adult education in Arizona!
Hello Supporters of Adult Basic Education!
We want to thank everyone who contributed to the groundswell of community support to save Adult Education in Arizona. Unfortunately, despite an impressive advocacy effort, the Governor signed the state budget last week that eliminates all state funding for Adult Education and GED Testing in Arizona.
The elimination of state funding presents a monumental threat to the future viability of the Adult Education system. At the same time, we are fortunate to have outstanding state and local leadership that has moved quickly to respond.
An unexpected “stopgap” measure has been arranged to continue providing some Adult Basic Education and GED testing through June 30th, 2011. Chancellor Roy Flores of Pima College and Chris Bustamante of Rio Salado Community College, among others, have generously offered to allocate federal stimulus monies to serve as a temporary funding “match,” allowing our state to access about $11 million of federal adult education dollars.
While this is certainly good news, many questions remain. It is still unclear how funds will be apportioned to Adult Education programs throughout the state for next year and where funding will come from in following years.
Here are answers to some of the questions we are hearing from the community:
What will Adult Education look like Pima County this year? Because of the arrangement of this one-year “stopgap” measure, PCAE expects to be awarded an amount of funding to continue Adult Education services. However, a reduction in funding is likely and may result in a reduction of services. We do not yet know how extensive those service reductions will be.
What will happen with GED testing in Arizona? The cost to GED testers statewide will increase to $95 beginning April 15, in an attempt to help cover costs. We will inform the community as soon as we know about future changes in GED testing services.
Will state funding for Adult Education be eliminated permanently? Fortunately, the Arizona statute allowing Adult Education state funding remains. This means that Adult Education can be funded by the state in the future. Elimination of state funding was a political decision, and political decisions can always be changed.
What can we do now as advocates? Let’s be clear: Adult Education in Arizona has lost state funding. After this year’s stimulus money from the community colleges is used, Adult Education will lack a “match” to get federal funds, which are the majority of funds. If we want Adult Education services to continue, we will need to work together like never before to insist that the Arizona Legislature reinstate funding, as well as to diversify our funding streams. We need YOU to be part of this effort. Upcoming elections for the sales tax increase, legislative seats, and the new Superintendent of Public Instruction will be critical to the future quality of all education in Arizona. Make sure you register to vote by April 19th.
State-funded adult education programs serve thousands of students each year who are trying to improve their skills, learn English, and earn GED diplomas. Eliminaton of adult education would terminate all adult education classes and GED testing in Arizona.
Let’s not let a few people in the state capital ruin Arizona’s economy because of short term thinking. This site will provide information about this issue as it unfolds and offer ways for you to get involved.