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Adult education to change in Jamestown

Adult education services are expected to continue at the James Valley Adult Learning Center, but as a satellite location of Sheyenne Valley Career and Technology Center in Valley City. In response to redirected funding for adult education program...

  

Adult education services are expected to continue at the James Valley Adult Learning Center, but as a satellite location of Sheyenne Valley Career and Technology Center in Valley City.

In response to redirected funding for adult education programs, the Jamestown Public School Board unanimously voted to not renew a teacher contract during a special meeting on Monday. School Board members Diane Hanson and Sedric Trevithick were not present.

Kim Thoele, the adult education instructor for the past 10 years and the Even Start coordinator before that, agreed to a reduction in force recommendation that eliminated her position with the Jamestown Public School District.

The adult education regional program operates with state grants to Region VI that now go to Sheyenne Valley Area Career and Technology Center to serve Stutsman, Barnes, Kidder, Dickey, Logan, LaMoure and McIntosh counties.

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The current North Dakota adult education budget of $4.2 million will be reduced to $3 million in the next biennium and will include $1 million in federal funding, said Robert Lech, superintendent of Jamestown Public School District. One response to that reduction in funding has been to reduce the number of adult learning centers from 17 to eight and use satellite centers to fill in the gaps but with reduced availability.

“We feel very confident that the adult education program will continue in Jamestown,” Lech said. “We just don’t know to what degree it will continue.”

John Lynch, director of the James Valley Career and Technology Center where adult services are provided, said satellite centers are a way to keep the program going.

“I feel the community needs to have it,” Lynch said about the adult services program. “But we are limited to the grant and we can only have one center in these counties.”

If Jamestown Public School District had received the grant funding then a satellite program would have been established in Valley City, Lynch said. The Sheyenne Valley Area Career and Technology Center would likewise establish a satellite program in Jamestown, he said.

“It all depends on funding,” Lynch said. “We just won’t know what the funding is going to be until after the Legislature decides.”

The days and hours that adult services would be provided in a Jamestown satellite program will be established by Sheyenne Valley Area Career and Technology Center, he said. The Jamestown Public School District is advocating for Thoele to be hired for the teaching position, he said.

The James Valley Career and Technology Center served 60 students in the adult education program this school year, Lynch said. There are 10 students who will soon graduate with their GED, six more trying to finish by mid-May, and 13 students in the English language learners program.

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The adult education programs include GED and adult basic education testing, English as a second language and a program for displaced homemakers.

tlaventure@jamestownsun.com

(701) 952-8455

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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