State Needs Adult Education, Ged Testing

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Editor:

If K-12 education was meeting the needs of Arizona’s citizenry, would the state have an annual dropout rate of 23,000, as stated recently in The Arizona Republic?

Would approximately 800,000 adults in Arizona be without a high school diploma? As the debate about the quality of K-12 education and the impact of funding continues, two valuable education programs that address the needs of high school dropouts and under-educated adults are in danger of elimination.

According to the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning, last year over 43,000 Arizona adults were served by adult education programs and GED testing. Fourteen thousand, five hundred (14,500) GEDs were awarded during the 2008/2009 program year.

Despite the apparent need for these programs, and their successful record in assisting adults to earn a high school diploma, Gov. Brewer has recommended that funding for these programs be eliminated.

It is well and good to focus on improving K-12 education, if that can realistically be done while cutting K-12 funding, but let’s not leave the high school dropouts of recent years with no support for correcting their situation.

Adult education and GED testing are critical to the future of Arizona citizens, families, and communities. Arizona can’t afford to ignore these valuable programs.

Karen Wartick

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