Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good news for Oakland!

Wednesday night, May 22nd, the OUSD School Board voted unanimously to keep their remaining few Adult Education programs going for one more year.

This is huge and good news.  (More details below.)

Hit the "read more" link to see the good news.

Every school that makes it through this time of destruction matters.

Every person who can continue to be served now or in the future matters.

Thanks to everyone for the work you have been doing and continue to do.

Thank you to the students in the La Escuelita Family Literacy for inspiring us to stand up for what matters.

Courage is not found in a sure outcome.  It's found in the rightness of what we do.

A rightness that does lead to a sure outcome:  our own growth.

La Escuelita Family Literacy Class in their REd for Unity for Adult Education

"OUSD Votes to Reinstate Adult Education After Protests" - Oakland Local

Still, adult education used to receive upwards of $20 million in Oakland before it was scaled way back in 2009 in the wake of state budget cuts to education generally. Now, the $1 million allocated is about a quarter of one percent of the district’s $415 million budget.

Note:  It was not just "cuts to education generally" that encouraged OUSD to cut Oakland Adult School to the marrow of the bone.   It was flexibility.  The State cut all public education.  Then it made Adult Education funds "flexible," i.e. available to K12 districts.  If the State had not made these funds available, Adult Schools would have remained open.  The State could have cut Adult School funds but still protected them.  They could have cut them in half, for example - but protected that remaining half.

Instead, it made them the "fix" for the cuts to K12 Schools.  This is like killing the mother to save the child.  In fact, in the case of Family Literacy and so many ESL and GED classes, it is doing something very close to that. 

Would a mother give her life for a child?  Sure.

But is that the best solution?  Especially when there is some other solution available?

No, of course not.

But that is what happened.

And now we are dealing with the consequences.

Luckily, Adult Education is all about second chances.

Which is a good thing because look at this...

interesting article from 2005 - a full 3 years before flexibility hit:

Oakland Schools Chief Wants Adult Education Taken Off District's Tab / Ward Proposes Shutting Down Program or Transferring It to Peralta Community Colleges.

Almost seems like flexibility was a convenient excuse, doesn't it?  We'll never know.

We've learned our lesson, in any case.

Don't fly under the radar.

Be proud of who we are, as both students and educators.

We're important part of California's public education system.

We do good, important, necessary work that serves the whole state for a low cost.

Whatever Oakland's reasons for felling their once mighty Adult School...

Oakland... both community and School Board now know and agree:  Adult Education Matters!

And luckily... a few acorns remain...

and goshdarnit... I think they are going to do some serious growing.

Thank you again, La Escuelita, for hanging in there and showing us how!

Renew and Rebuild Adult Education! 

1 comment:

  1. All of your efforts are being rewarded....
    Good wishes!!