Local News

School Vocational Programs Could Be Victim Of State Budget Cuts

Posted April 17, 2003

— Gov. Mike Easley said he is pleased that the state House passed the budget, but he is keeping a close eye on cuts affecting education. One area that could feel the pinch would be vocational programs.

The state budget cuts $25 million from vocational programs.

"I think part of the issue here is a misconception of what career and technical education classes are," said Deborah Woodruff, principal of Clayton Middle School.

Adam Askren hopes to enter the high-tech world one day. He firmly believes his computer skills class will get him there.

"If they got rid of some of these classes, I don't think kids would be prepared as kids in the past," he said.

Officials say the practical-level classes are an integral part of the curriculum at Clayton Middle School. If the House cuts survive, more than 90,000 students would be affected statewide. Many worry that by trimming the classes, more students will choose to drop out of school.

"You have to get students to the the point they want to be here," Woodruff said.

If the cuts remain in place, more than 500 vocational teachers across the state would lose their jobs.

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