Why am I not surprised?

by David Safier

A tight job market amid staggering layoffs nationwide has a growing number of adults flocking to GED test preparation classes in Arizona and around the country.

In Mesa alone, the program director expects to offer four times as many classes this fall as he did last year.

[snip]

A report by the Arizona Department of Education shows that the waiting list to get into classes for basic reading, writing and math or high school-level science, social studies, reading, writing and math grew from 2,342 in June 2007 to 4,025 December 2008. Each year, about 22,000 adults take the GED test, Liersch said.

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is planning to close four satellite campuses because of budget cuts.

The university . . . will close four satellite locations, in Nogales, Payson, Globe and Holbrook, as well as an office in Avondale. University officials said further layoffs are possible as are universitywide furloughs for the next school year.

When the job market is tight, people decide to go back to school to boost their chances of getting a job. When state budgets are tight, we offer fewer opportunities for education.

The state may have to restore some of its higher ed cuts, so NAU's satellites may get a reprieve, in spite of the Republican cuts. At least we can hope.

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