Cuts in adult education unwise move

Published 4:08 am Wednesday, February 13, 2008

By Staff
No matter how long the state Legislature puts off its work on the budget, hoping for a better economic forecast, lawmakers are still going to have to make cuts in the general fund and education budgets.
But it might take the wisdom of Solomon - and quite a lot of negotiating - to figure out just where to make those cuts.
Gov. Bob Riley's budget has already proposed some cuts - in workforce development and adult education in the two-year college system.
While we understand that cuts must be made somewhere, cuts to those particular areas would be a huge blow to communities that are looking to capitalize on our state's recent economic success, particularly in south Alabama.
Community colleges will be committed to keeping those programs going - they are essential services in any city. Just look at what happened when Georgia-Pacific took over the Smurfit-Stone mill, for example.
When employees reapplied for their jobs, they had to have proof of a high school diploma or a GED - and that requirement is becoming more and more common for big business.
It's a fair requirement, but potential employees need to be able to find the services in their hometown to fulfill it.
With the potential for spinoff industries in our county from major projects in Mobile, our educators need to be able to provide workforce development skills for potential employees.
Mobile can't possibly expect to fill the employment needs of all of the possible industries, so those companies are likely to look outside that county.
We hope they will look here. And we hope that when they do, schools like Jefferson Davis Community College will be able to provide the workforce training employees will need to succeed.
Cuts are inevitable. But they need to be spread out fairly - and they should not cut out almost entirely the state funding for two of our community's most valuable resources.

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