- Adult Education needs more funding now.
- In the last few years adult programs have been deeply cut or eliminated.
- Adult education is essential for getting better jobs.
- Our classes have long waiting lists, and many remain closed.
- Many sites and programs remain closed, including popular Saturday classes.
- We serve only about one third of the students we used to serve.
Monday, February 03, 2014
INCREASED FUNDING IS NEEDED NOW, NOT "SOMEDAY,"
TO RESTORE OUR PROGRAMS
California funding for Adult Education is expected to increase in 2015. However, there is no additional funding in Governor Brownʼs budget for adult education this year or next.
With the passage of Proposition 30 and higher state revenue in general, the current funding levels (a 70% or more reduction to what we used to run on before 2009) is unacceptable. In other words, maintaining present "skeleton" funding only continues the devastating cuts that adult education has experienced over the last five years since flexibility was implemented.
As you are well aware, these ongoing cuts cripple the ability of our programs to improve the education and skill level of the communities who depend on us to improve their lives and break the cycle of poverty. Due to ongoing insufficient funding, popular classes and entire programs have been cut, and there are long waiting lists for those that remain.
Adult education needs to be restored to pre-2009 levels in order to meet the demand for our programs.
It is teachers' and students' responsibility to communicate with our state representatives to let them know that the current level of funding is insufficient and hurts the communities that depend on adult education.
Please organize letter writing campaigns at your school directed at California state senators and Assembly members. Include these points:
Here's the website to find legislators' names and contact info:
Adult students fought along with us to get Prop 30 passed.
HERE IS A SAMPLE LETTER YOU MIGHT WANT TO USE
Dear Legislator ________ (name/title here):
I am an adult school teacher/student/community member from your district in Los Angeles. It's great that there are no new cuts to California adult education this year. It's nice to know that so many of our lawmakers understand how important adult education is. However, current funding levels are not sufficient for our needs. We respectfully ask for your support to rebuild our essential programs now, not in a few years.
The deep statewide cuts to adult education during the budget crisis have left our schools and programs much smaller, much more crowded, and in many cases, shut down completely since 2009. In LAUSD, we still have adult education; however, we now have less than half of what we used to. Too many students still don't have classes to attend, and too many teachers did not get their jobs back.
Adult education students and teachers sacrificed during tough economic times, and we worked hard to get Proposition 30 passed in 2012. As a result, money is now coming back into the school district. So why are so many motivated adult students stuck on long waiting lists to get back to our studies? Why are so many classes and programs still closed, or cut back? We need our classes and programs restored this school year.
Adult education is essential to help people get better jobs. It also helps people improve their families' lives and supports healthier communities in many ways. We ask you to invest in the future of our families and our state, and restore funding now to support quality adult education.
link to a copy of this letter in PDF for easy printing here:
This spring, teachers and students should work together to strengthen relationships with local elected representatives and community groups.
As we move ahead in this turbulent restructuring period, we have to to build/strengthen relationships with decision makers in our schools' communities. We want them to get to know us and the great work we do, the students we serve, and the challenges we face.
Ideas: Organize small delegations to your school neighborhood's state legislators' home offices on Fridays. Invite them to visit your school. You can also reach out to City Council members, and speak at your school's neighborhood council and ask for a resolution in support of restoring adult ed.
Places of worship, community groups, what else? Be creative!
For state Senators and Assembly members:http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html
Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils: http://empowerla.org/councils/
Bob Yorgason, CTE teacher, Chair of CFT's CTE Committee, and your UTLA Adult Ed Committee Secretary, is interested in helping coordinate communication with neighborhood councils, on our AE issues as well as the District's misplaced priorities (for example,iPads instead of restoring adult ed and other important things). Contact him to work on this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ANSWERED OUR CALL LAST WEEK
TO PROTEST TEACHER EXCLUSION FROM THE AB 86 CONSORTIA PLANNING PROCESS
Teachers across the state, with the support of our statewide unions, CFT and CTA, are fighting for inclusion as equal partners as planning for the future of CA adult ed moves ahead. The good news is that our voices are definitely being heard.
We refuse to stay quietly in the background and then react to already-completed plans created by administrators and other bureaucrats. Stay posted for more on this, including future actions you and your students can take.
Here's a link to to the video of the hearing January 29th hearing in Sacramento, including public comments at the end by teachers, students, and other supporters.
This video is really worth watching, because of all the supportive and positive statements about the need for improving and rebuilding our programs.
Your Dues at Work (CFT members)...
As a result of union pressure, CFT Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Freitas was speaker #1 during the public comment part of the hearing and very accurately spoke to our concerns.
ESL students from Northern CA speaking at the hearing
Thanks also to L.A.'s Irma Becerra-Nunez, who spoke on behalf of a statewide coalition fighting for state support for Older Adults programs.