The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is cutting the state’s budget for adult education programs in half by combining county programs and cutting dozens of positions. Dickson County Director of Schools Dr. Danny Weeks said last week he plans to meet with the directors of schools in Humphreys, Houston and Stewart counties to discuss creating some type of “consortium” for operating the program when they are combined with Dickson County on July 1. Dickson County Adult Education Coordinator Phyllis Bradley told the school board last week the state is reducing the number of adult programs from 87 to 46 and cutting the budget from $3.9 million to $2 million for 2013-14. Workforce Essentials, which is contracted to operate adult programs for the state, is seeking requests for proposals from the counties on how the new combined service areas will operate and several coordinators, including possible herself, could be out of a job. Weeks said he has spoken with the directors in the other three counties and they all said they have no desire to run the combined program. Dickson County has offered an adult education program that includes free GED training and an adult high school for more than 30 years. Bradley said the proposed four-county area will include over 13,000 residents over the age of 25 who do not have a high school diploma or GED. Bradley said she is worried the changes to the operation of the program, along with the GED test changing to computer-based and the cost going up from $65 to $120 in 2014 will make it impossible for residents to get a GED. Through its current arrangement with the University of Tennessee at Martin, Bradley said the county has just recently met the requirement for 10 people to take the test at the scheduled Feb. 6 testing date with the help of funds from the Dickson High Noon Rotary Club. Weeks said he hopes to work out a proposal to keep Dickson County’s adult education program early this week.