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Pima County JTED budget cut an unprecedented 52%

News Release
April 5, 2011
Contact: Greg D'Anna
Director of Public Relations (520) 271-5259

Arizona Legislature stops all funding for freshman JTED students

Pima County JTED budget cut an unprecedented 52 percent

The Arizona State Legislature has slashed funding for one of the most successful means of delivering education in Pima County by more than half. As a part of the $183.2 million cut from K-12 education, $29 million was cut when the Senate and House voted to permanently stop funding for 9th graders enrolled in Joint Technical Education Districts. The Governor has agreed to approve the budget.

Freshmen enrolled in Pima County Joint Technical Education District (JTED) courses account for nearly one third of that funding, or $10 million. The Pima County JTED will also take on an additional $2 million in cuts to capital and soft capital.

The District's budget for next year will be $3 million less than it was in its first year of operation in 2008 despite the fact that it served 12,000 students then and serves 24,000 students today.

Research shows that students who take two years of JTED's Career and Technical Education programs, or students who are considered "concentrators," outperform their peers who are not enrolled in JTED courses by up to 30 percent on the AIMS test in reading, writing and math in Pima County's largest school districts.

According to the Annual State Report Card, the four-year graduation rate for 2009-10 was 76 percent, while the graduation rate for JTED CTE concentrators was 99 percent statewide.

If freshmen were not funded this year, more than 7,100 students would not be able to participate in courses such as Bioscience, Engineering, Culinary Arts, Business Administration, or Automotive Technologies, unless local school districts came up with alternate means of funding the classes on their own.

Voters in Pima County approved Proposition 400 in 2006 to enhance Career and Technical Education programs for all high school age students who attend public, private, charter and home schools within the County by creating the Pima County JTED.

"The voter's expectations were that their children would have access to enhanced CTE programs from the moment they entered high school, not just in grades 10 through 12," says Pima County JTED Superintendent/CEO Alan L. Storm, Ph.D. "The business community also overwhelmingly supported the creation of the JTED out of a dire need for well-qualified workforce."

"Parents and voters need to realize that a 52 percent cut to the JTED budget will likely result in hundreds of people being laid off, and may decimate successful programs that are helping students to successfully enter careers and college," says Pima County Governing Board Member Mary Jondrow, Ph.D. "We can't afford not to give our students an advantage in the Agriscience, Bioscience and Engineering fields, yet those programs will likely be affected."

According to the Arizona Education Network, the cuts to public education will total $1.3 billion in the past three years. Remember, that's in a state that already chronically under-funds K-12 education, consistently ranking next to last in per-child education funding nationwide.

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