Cutting GED money will 'cut our dreams'

300 rally, ask state to go on backing adult-ed program
2010-02-05T00:00:00Z Cutting GED money will 'cut our dreams' Becky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 05, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Jesus Ayala needs his GED, and Arizona needs him.

That was the message on his poster Thursday at a rally for state support of GED programs.

The state spends $3.4 million on adult education, and that money is part of the Gov. Jan Brewer's proposed budget cuts.

State schools chief Tom Horne said through a spokesperson that those funds are too critical to be in peril because they come with an $11 million federal match.

"It's going to cut our dreams," Ayala said, "dreams to get a GED, get a better job, a career."

Ayala, 67, was laid off from his job as an industrial mechanic more than a year ago. He has been looking for work, but many employers require a GED. Now he's taking classes to prepare for a test.

About 300 people attended the rally at El Rio Learning Center, 1390 W. Speedway, and wrote postcards to legislators.

Here are some fast facts about the demand for adult education:

• About 16 percent of Arizona adults 25 and older don't have a high school diploma or GED, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

• About 18 percent of all high school diplomas issued in Arizona last year were GEDs, according to the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning.

• Arizona's high school drop-out rate is 3.6 percent, according to the Arizona Department of Education.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 807-8012.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video

Follow the Arizona Daily Star


Featured businesses

View more...

Event Calendar

Today's events | Add an event

Most viewed: