GED students around Liberty County escaped a potential snag in progress as funding for their program was on the verge of a temporary collapse.
Because of a shortfall in state revenue, the Department of Technical and Adult Education quickly needed $1.8 million to fund teachers’ salaries through the months of May and June to keep the adult literacy GED program online, DTAE spokesman, Mike Light said.
Since the fiscal year 2007 budget is complete, leaders on both sides of the House and Senate will set up a bridge fund for the $1.8 million, which will become available on July 1 when the FY08 budget is implemented, he said.
“Until then, we will borrow money from within our agency, and the state will pay us back in two months. We collaborated with people like the lieutenant governor and the General Appropriations Committee to get the necessary funds. They heard the outcry from the people, and they responded,” he said.
Director Gail Eubanks of Liberty County’s Savannah Tech campus offered reassuring news and said this setback would not disrupt any of the college’s GED classes.
Student Shannon Montijo was elated when she heard the news.
“I have kids who I love very much, and all my hard work is for them so I can provide them with a better life,” she said. “I was shocked to hear the news last week that classes would be canceled, but I am overjoyed now that I can continue my education.”
There is a large population of adults who attends these classes in the coastal region, and there is a huge need for it, Dr. Kathy Burke-Fabrikant, executive director of Royce Learning Center, said, noting since the program is under funded, the time is now to request more money, donations and grants from the government and other agencies who are willing to help.