Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Party line vote moves adult education bill forward

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In a party line 6-4 vote, an Indiana House committee last week approved a bill proposed by State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D- Portage, to establish a new funding mechanism for adult education.

H.B. 1117 would provide grants to school corporations with stand-alone adult education programs by rolling in the current state funding for adult ed with the state’s tuition support.

The grants would be part of the state’s tuition distribution in the state fiscal year of 2010-11. How much school systems would receive would be based on the number of students taking adult education courses and the number of courses they take every six months.

The state appropriation for adult education is currently $14 million statewide.

“This bill will ensure that additional state support will follow any student who has left a traditional K-12 school and plans on entering into an adult education program,” Moseley said in a statement.

Under Moseley’s proposal, the additional funding for adult education programs would be funded monthly rather than in two annual installments.

“The monthly funding would be a huge incentive for schools to keep kids in adult education programs, which would hopefully prevent drop-outs and encourage all students to get a complete education,” Moseley said.

Speaking in support of S.B. 1117, Frank Bush, executive director of Indiana School Board Association, said this bill is a “step in the right direction.”

Bush said after the confusion officials have felt the last five years in trying to figure out funding for adult education programs throughout the state, Moseley’s bill provides some clarity on the issue. “I have been working on this issue for a number of years now and think it has always been seen as a backseat issue,” said Moseley. “Now it’s time for adult education to have a chance to be on the forefront.”

The House Education Committee last week moved the bill to the full House, with six Democrats voting in support and four Republicans against. The Northwest Indiana lawmakers on the committee are Vernon Smith, D-East Chicago, and Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, both of whom voted in support.




Posted 1/18/2010




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