In the final hours of the legislative session, and just in time for the upcoming school year, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1447 which, among other things, fixes a disparity in the funding charter schools and traditional public schools each receive for students who participate in a JTED program.

Also known as the Arizona School Finance Revisions bill, the new law allows an equal 1.75 Average Daily Membership (ADM) cap for charter school students that traditional public school pupils have been able to generate while enrolled in JTED. The amendment to SB 1447 to equalize funding for charter schools was proposed by Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, and approved by the House.

Previously, charter school students who enrolled in JTEDs’ career and technical education programs were capped at a 1.25 ADM regardless of class hours. ADM is a count of students that ensures school districts receive state funding according to student population.

By law, charter school students have always been eligible to take JTED classes for free, but the shortfalls in funding caused some charter school administrators to discourage students from JTED enrollment. The revision is a major victory for students and charter districts where elective programs have been traditionally scarce, according to Pima County JTED Superintendent/CEO Alan L. Storm, Ph.D.

“Our legislators worked hard to remove a barrier that prevented many deserving students from taking advantage of career and technical education programs that are proven to not only help students enter careers, but also be more successful in high school and the post-secondary institution of their choice,” says Storm. “It’s a win-win for education and our economy.”

JTED delivers premier Career and Technical Education programs in partnership with business, industry and community stakeholders. All JTED programs are tuition-free to eligible sophomores, juniors and seniors, or adults under the age of 22 who have not earned a high school diploma, and who reside within a member school district’s boundaries. Hundreds of career path options are available to students at 34 high schools located throughout Pima County, Rio Rico, and San Manuel, and also at nine central campus locations.