Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Penny Wise and Pound Stoopid

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has suggested cutting adult education (among a ton of other things) in Arizona. This means adult literacy programs and funding for GEDs. In case you don't know, a GED is the degree you are able to get if you were unable to complete a traditional high school diploma for whatever reason (pregnancy, abuse, financial hardship, family problems, etc.)

According to the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning, "18% of all high school diplomas issued in Arizona in 2008 were GED diplomas. There are currently 795,970 adults in Arizona without a high school credential, which makes it nearly impossible to get a job or go to further training."

They also stress that "individuals with a high school diploma earn on mean $8,000 more per year than those without a diploma. This translates into millions of dollars in revenue which goes immediately to Arizona ." The website also argues that GEDs are relatively cheap ($183 per student). When you think about it, a $183 investment for an $8,000/year return is pretty awesome.

One NPR interviewee said the cuts were "penny wise and pound foolish." There is a facebook group to support the continued funding of basic education in our state.

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