The Davis Area Vocational Center Board says it likes being governed by the State Board of Education despite a recent Utah Foundation report that said area center boards have been reluctant to submit to state board authority.
Members voted Tuesday night to approve a resolution supporting the center board's subordinate role to the State Board of Education and sent a message to legislators who want to eliminate the state body. They said that it performs a vital function for local vocational centers."We have never resisted authority. Our board has wide acceptance of the state board and believe it has legal governance and is desirable to the area vocational center," said board member Ray Briscoe.
The board did not, however, address another concern listed by the report - that area center boards have been reluctant to eliminate direct contact with the Legislature. In fact, the board directed that their resolution be sent to Davis and Morgan legislators hoping to convince them to stay away from a movement to eliminate the state board.
The resolution vote came after Jack Shell, Davis center director, gave his concerns about the Utah Foundation report released in December. He said some of the information in the report was misleading and outdated.
He said the report found the state's area vocational centers have become mainly training centers for adult students. He said that information is misleading because of current state-mandated formulas used to fund students. For example, high school students cannot attend vocational centers during the day without hurting state funding for school districts. That keeps down enrollment of high school students at the centers, he said.
A statement in the report indicating that services of vocational centers and institutions of higher education overlap and that the groups don't cooperate is outdated, he said.
"In the past that has been true. No matter how much we do the statement will be made," Shell said.
He also said that a master plan being worked on for all area vocational centers will address many of the concerns raised by the report. Board President Dee Forbes did admit that the report has prompted a clearer definition of roles and direction for vocational centers.
The report had specifically pointed out the Davis Area Vocational Center as one that provides overlapping services with other training centers in Salt Lake City and Ogden. Larry Brice, assistant center director, said efforts have been made to cut out overlapping projects, and the population warrants the center.
"We are filled to capacity. And we are all directly placing students into the job market," he said.