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North Dakota adult education programs deal with budget cuts

North Dakota adult education programs deal with budget cuts
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MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Adult education programs around North Dakota are dealing with a one-third cut to their funding.

About 10 percent of the state’s population between the ages of 16 and 55 don’t have a high school diploma or GED diploma, the Minot Daily News reported.

Many people don’t understand how valuable adult education is, said Valerie Fischer, the state director of adult education.

Supporters of adult education programs say investing in them can lead to big benefits, since those with diplomas earn more and are less likely to rely on welfare programs. Adult education officials say the children of GED earners also tend to have better educational outcomes.

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It’s a “win-win” for the state and for families, said Jennifer Kraft, the director of the Minot Adult Learning Center.

The funding cut has led to a decrease in programs offered at the center’s satellite sites.

Services are now offered online and at the center in Minot, Kraft said. But the geographical distance can be an obstacle for people who need the service but live in rural areas.

“We do what we can with the money that we have,” Kraft said.

Kraft said she’s compiling information about the region’s needs and hopes to offer more services to meet those demands if funding becomes available.

The state reduced the number of adult learning centers from 13 to eight a few years ago when it switched to a regional plan.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com



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