Educators say Governor’s proposed state budget would cripple Career & Technical Education programs
Naomi Hatch, AZJournal.com, February 24th, 2010
The governor’s budget is causing concern for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. The proposed cuts will leave $57,700 of the $11,492,700 in the Vocational Education Block Grant. This could have an impact on the Snowflake School District, because if that grant is cut, the district will also lose a federal grant, explained Superintendent Hollis Merrell. “It could potentially impact NAVIT (Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology),” he said.
Merrell explained that for every dollar school districts receive through State Education Block Grant funding, an additional $2.34 is received from Carl D. Perkins federal funding, so this could take $25.9 mil-lion of the Carl D. Perkins funding from the CTE program in Arizona. The state has to show maintenance of effort in order to receive the Carl D. Perkins grant, and would not be able to do so if the block grant was cut. The loss of these funds could potentially force schools involved with NAVIT to close programs, and cause similar problems throughout the state.
The potential loss would include $11,492,000 in state funding and $25.9 million from federal Carl D. Perkins funding for a total of $36.9 million statewide. “Certainly it would negatively impact us,” said Merrell, noting it could cause them to close programs because there would not be adequate funding.
Classes offered in the district that would be affected include agriculture and Future Farmers of America, information technology (Cisco networking), digital media (broadcasting), business, construction trades, graphic arts, and graphic design.
All NAVIT classes would be affected, including cosmotology, health related occupations, auto, fire science, education professions, and several others.
Alan Ramage, CTE director for the Snowflake School District, said that the district has $92,730.64 al-located block grant funds for fiscal year 2009 and $41,341.81 allocated for the 2010 fiscal year.
He noted that there are 522 students in the district participating in CTE classes, with 76 students having taken a course for two or more consecutive years in a particular class. There are 4,287 participating students in the 10 school districts in Navajo County that participate in CTE. Without these funds, it will become very difficult to offer these programs.
There are 1,670 CTE program courses offered in 72 occupational programs for 104,628 students in 328 high schools and 137 school districts in Arizona. Arizona provides 15 percent of the Carl D. Perkins federal funds to 10 community college districts in Arizona that have 44,610 occupational students who complete 12 credit hours funded through these funds.
Students participating in these programs can graduate from high school with a trade and they could earn 12 college credit hours upon completion. The proposed funding cuts could cause the loss of those pro-grams.
Statistics show that 94 percent of the students who complete a CTE program meet or exceed the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) reading standard, 92 percent meet or exceed the AIMS math standard, and 95 percent meet or exceed the AIMS writing standard, which exceeds the scores made by other students in high school, and 68 percent of students completing a CTE program last year were placed in community colleges, jobs or in the military.
Standards for the CTE programs are created by the industry, and the National Report Card for Education published by the U.S. Department of Education gave a grade of A- for Arizona Standards and Assessments, including both CTE and academic activities.
Loss of these programs could also cause a loss of jobs held by secondary CTE administrators, staff and teachers. “What I’ve heard today (Feb. 18) is that they are getting the message,” said Merrell, noting legislators have heard from plenty of people who want to keep the CTE program.
You are encouraged to contact state legislators to express your concerns at http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp. For more information on this issue, go online to http://www.acova.org