[r91] Rep. Behning bolsters adult education (2/16/2011)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Start Date: 2/16/2011 All Day
End Date: 2/16/2011
STATEHOUSE-State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) authored House Bill 1340, which realigns responsibilities for the delivery of career, technical and adult education between the State Board of Education and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).  The State Board of Education will be responsible for career and technical education, while the Department of Workforce Development will be responsible for adult education.

House Bill 1340, a bipartisan bill, was co-authored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and Rep. Shelia Klinker (D-Lafayette).  The bill received a third reading at Monday's session and passed out of the House by a unanimous vote.  The bill will now move to the Senate for discussion. 

This bill creates consistent adult education across the state of Indiana. The provisions of this bill require the State Board of Education to be responsible for receiving, distributing and accounting for funds received for Career and Technical Education programs.  This changes the current set-up, where the DWD and State Board of Education split the administration of this program.  The DWD will be responsible for the General Education Development (GED) diploma program and for the planning and implementation of adult education programs.   

"This bill will allow the state to better serve adult and high school learners," said Rep. Behning.  "Realigning these programs will create a workforce development strategy that better coordinates services for adults, who need basic skills remediation, re-employment assistance and occupational training."

In June 2011, the U.S. DOE recognized the alignment of adult education with occupation skills training as an emerging and best practice.   Indiana will receive an additional five million in adult education money from the federal government as a result of this realignment. 

According to a 2009 report by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, over 500,000 Hoosiers, who are of workforce age, do not have a GED or a diploma. Out of that 500,000, only 38,000 were enrolled in adult education programs last year.

"If Indiana wants to be a competitor in the 21st century economy, we need to have a comprehensive education system that serves all Hoosiers.  This bill enables more Hoosiers to receive GEDs and occupational training, which makes them workforce ready and Indiana more competitive," said Rep. Behning.