FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An estimated $11.5 million could be cut from certain career and technical education programs over the next two years based on the Indiana House’s proposed budget plan.
The budget bill (H.B. 1001) contains language that was first introduced in H.B. 1397, which removes funding for programs classified as “less than moderate value” by the state’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Programs are classified under “high value”, “moderate value”, or “less than moderate value” based on factors such as demand and average wages for each profession.
Programs that fall under the lowest category include photography, cosmetology, culinary arts and TV and radio.
The current bill puts programs like Jeannette Rinard’s interactive media program at Kendalville’s Impact Institute in danger of losing a substantial amount of funding, and thus threatens the ability of some students to learn at these institutions.
“It would be such a huge loss to future classes if they didn’t get the opportunity to come here,” Rinard said.
Rinard, who is also a board member of the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters, plans to connect with state senators this week to discuss the proposed cuts introduced by the Indiana House. She also hopes to connect with the DWD to reform the current system for classifying various career and technical education programs.
Meanwhile, institutions like the FWCS Career Academy at Anthis and the Indiana State Teachers Association have posted their opposition of the budget cuts on their social media pages, encouraging others to call local lawmakers.
“We just ask that we don’t lose our funding so that my kids don’t get the opportunity to experience the depth of knowledge that they get here,” Rinard said.
The proposed budget plan would move on to the Indiana Senate if it is passed later on Monday.