A bipartisan group of state legislators met today to find a way to restore Connecticut's Licensed Practical Nurse adult education program. WNPR's Ray Hardman reports.
The three semester program was run through the state's ten vocational technical high schools, and graduated about 350 new licensed practical nurses every 16 months. But the LPN adult education program was unilaterally cut by Governor Jodi Rell in November to put a dent in the state's budget deficit. The State Department of Education estimated it would save the state about $3.9 million. State Senator Edith Prague says that number is way too high:
"Well, it's our understanding that the cost to reinstate this program is $1.7 million. Now, maybe the state department of education thinks you can fire all the teachers. Well, you can't. They're under a contract and they're paid until July 1, 2011."
Prague says the group of lawmakers she helped assemble are very dedicated to bringing the LPN program back, and come from both sides of the aisle:
"I'm encouraged because there's bipartisan support. This isn't a political issue, this is a matter of common sense. We have to restore this program to give people a chance to have a job."
Among the ideas considered in Friday's meeting to resurrect the program is to move the $1.7 million needed to restart the program from the $42 million state's citizen's election fund.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.