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Sunday, 7 March 2021

State budget bill could take funding away from certain vocational programs

Credit: WLFI
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State budget bill could take funding away from certain vocational programs
State budget bill could take funding away from certain vocational programs

House Bill 1001 would take the funding from courses like culinary, TV/radio and cosmetology, then redistribute the funds to other courses.

Lawmakers are continuing to figure out this year's state budget.

But there's a small portion of the legislation that would impact educators in our community.

News 18's samantha thieke spoke with one of those who would be affected by a redistribution of vocational funding.

He shares how important these classes are, even if lawmakers don't agree.

Nat-"for the red 3 class, i'm brian sutton and this has been the latest jeff 92 news, sports and weather."

For the last four decades, lafayette jeff radio and tv students have had the opportunity to learn what it takes to be in the industry.

But state funding for the program could soon be a thing of the past.

Long "picking winners and losers, as far as programs go, i think that's a big mistake."

House bill 1001 would take the funding from courses like culinary, tv and radio and cosmetology and redistribute the funds to other courses.

Right now, the classes costs are reimbursed by the state.

Brown "we're hoping then students look at some of the high demand, high wage occupations and show an interest in them, and they grow overall."

The biil's author, republican state representative tim brown, says the money would go to skilled trade courses like welding and construction.

That move frustrates jeff's radio and tv director jamie long.

Long "to say that 'this' program is more important than 'this' program is kind of short sided i think."

Lsc superintendent les huddle says it takes away students' ability to explore different career paths.

Huddle "once we start eliminating options, we think that will only be a detriment to kids."

If the bill is passed, school corporations would have to decide whether to fund the programs. huddle says he'll do all he can to make sure that happens.

Huddle "if comes down to the time to make some budget decisions we'll have to do that, but we want to continue to provide a great opportunity for kids to explore numerous paths."

Long says having these class options may be more important than you think.

Long "giving students less variety to follow what they're passionate about, then it's really stifling someone's future."

Some other vocational programs that would lose funding are nutrition science and fashion and textiles.

House bill 1001 passed its third reading in the house.

It now goes to senate for consideration.

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