Sunday, April 19, 2015

Short List of Growing Support for Parent Education and Older Adults

State Funding for Older Adults and Parent Education Adult Education will end in July of this year.

All along, many folks have thought these programs were valuable.  They simply didn't think there was enough money to pay for them, coming out of Great Meltdown of Wall Street, Main Street, and Adult Education. Others, like the folks at the LAO (Legislative Analyst Office), thought the mission of Adult Education should be narrowed to a more work-oriented focus.  (They also thought the two systems - K12 Adult Ed and Community Adult Ed should stay as they were - separate, just better coordinated.)   Meltdowns are the perfect time to re-form things because everything is nice and gooey and often there have already been losses, changes, etc.  This idea is the central tenet of the Shock Doctrine.  Before you get too upset about that, just remember that can swing in any direction.  It might be a direction you like.  It might be a direction you don't like.  It's just one of those things that's true and also encapsulated in the idea that crises = opportunity.

In any case, that's what happened.

Now, as we get close to when these changes -

State funding for Adult Education through the new Regional Consortia Block Grant System will go toward only these five programs:

*   Elementary and secondary basic skills, including classes required for a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate
  • Classes and courses for immigrants eligible for education services in citizenship and English as a second language and workforce preparation classes in basic skills
  • Education programs for adults with disabilities
  • Short-term career technical education programs with high employment potential
  • Programs for apprentices

  • go into effect, there is growing support for programs which will no longer be financially supported by the State.

    What will happen?

    I don't know.  But here's a list of the growing support.  

    (Click here for the longer version of this post.)

    Hit the "read more" link to see the list.

    1.  "Too Old To Learn" - website focused on saving Older Adults programs in Los Angeles.  Many resources, testimonials and links to a petition are on the site.

    2.   Continue to Fund Programs for Older Adults Classes - petition addressed to Los Angeles Board of Education.  Petition is focused on Older Adults classes in Los Angeles only.

    3.  AB1112 - Assembly Member Patty Lopez' bill to reinstate State funding for Parent Education and Family Literacy.

    4.  "Please Support AB1112 to Save Parent Ed and Family Literacy Programs in California" - petition addressed to the State House (Senate and Assembly) in support of the Lopez bill.

    5.  LA Family Literacy - website focused on saving Parent Ed programs in Los Angeles.  Excellent info and testimonials on the site.

    6.  CFT - California Federation of Teachers Union.  Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas' testimony at the January 29th 2015 Oversight Hearing on Adult Ed can be viewed here.  (2:03:25).   The Adult Education issue paper can be read here.

    7. Alliance for California Adult Schools - A4CAS.  On the Resources page, scroll down to "Mission - Broad or Narrow" for many pertinent links and articles.

    8.  George Porter's Petition for the Broad Mission.  George Porter is an Older Adults instructor at Berkeley Adult School, member of the Berkeley Commission on Aging, and a grassroots advocate for Adult Education and the broad mission.

    9.  Carlos Alcala of the California Chicano Latino Caucus speaking at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 on Hearing on Adult Education.  Video here.  He speaks at 1.22 into the hearing.

    10.  Commissioner Irma Beserra Nunez speaking at the same hearing.  1.21 into the hearing.

    If you have trouble with the link to the hearing, go to the Cal Channel website and look up the March 24th Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2  hearing on Adult Education.  . 

    11.  Save Your Adult School blog.  Numerous excellent posts on the topic including this one and this one.  The Save Your Adult School blog holds the best collection of information on why these programs are valuable.

    12.  Restore Protected Funding for K-12 Adult Ed - petition.  Petition focuses on safe funding for Adult Schools but many of the comments focus on Parent Ed and Older Adults.  Recently, there have been many comments from Chula Vista residents as that area is facing the loss of its Parent Education program.  There are also many comments from Alcalanes Adult School students facing the loss of their programs.  Here are some comments pulled from the petition:

    Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego, CA signed this petition on Apr 16, 2015.

    My son and I have been enrolled in parent ed classes since he was 18 months old. As a parent with an only child and no immediate family or friends with small children, Mrs. Lori Swem's class was the best thing that I encountered. The lessons that she taught me as a clueless first time parent and my son are/were invaluable. My son was able to consistent social interaction, learn social skills, enhance his development and is now I feel prepared for kindergarten, thanks to Mrs. Lori and his current parent Ed Teacher. As for my self I have not only learned so much about positive parenting, but have been able to form bonds and friendships with the other mothers in the class. We were/are able to support each other and share the common challenges and acheviements of our children. Taking this program away would be the worst thing that can happen. You are taking away the opportunity for other parents/future parents to experience these types of programs. The current expectations for entrance to kindergarten is far more advance from when I was a child and I feel that programs like parent/child ed. are the foundation for early childhood education, that will set children up for success. I also feel as a parent/student, attending these classes with our children encourages and motivates us as parents to be more involved in our children's education. Please continue to support and keep Parent Ed. going. The community depends on it.

    ana from san diego, CA signed this petition on Apr 16, 2015.

    Please dont take away this great programs.Thr development may not be measured on a test but it shows throughout the kids growing.The milestones our children have can not be measured with a simple test.But its the time and lessons that this classes offer us Parents to bring up well rounded future students of the system and eventually our society.

    Lorena from Chula vista, CA signed this petition on Apr 16, 2015.

    I'm So thankful with the parenting classes (mommy and toddler class). I have learned how to be a good mom with positive discipline, and also a good teacher for my two kids with the outstanding instruction of Mrs. Lori. Today, I'm so sad these classes are about to end letting so many parents without the opportunities these classes offer. I suggest you consider your decision and keep offer the enough funds for this priceless education for the children, who are the future of the nation. Thank you.

    eunice palacios from 91914, CA signed this petition on Apr 15, 2015.

    This class made a difference in the way I parent my children. The community that I created in that class is something that could never happened outside of the class context. There is no other program like this in the City. This program helped my child to be exposed to English and helped her with social skills. Please maintain this program

    2931. Patricia Purvis-Thielman from Walnut Creek, CA signed this petition on Apr 14, 2015.

    Governor Brown I find your lack of support for life long education programs to be outright discrimination against older adults. I am not only disappointed but appalled at your cavalier approach to Adult Education. As one of the many WORKING and VOTING California Baby Boomers, believe me when I say, I will never vote for any candidate who is in support of discriminatory practices. Please remedy this situation NOW!

    Caroline Ballarino from chula Vista, CA signed this petition on Apr 11, 2015.

    parent Ed has taught me so much and improved my role as a parent to my 3 children. It was my main form of support emotionally as well. You are making a huge mistake in letting this program go.

    Erica from chula vista, CA signed this petition on Apr 11, 2015.

    This education program has taught me so much. I have taken classes for both my children and feel I am a better parent because of it. There are many books about how to take care of a child but hardly any on how to actually interact and play with your child. I have learned how to interact with my children and understand them because of these classes. I feel very blessed to have been able to learn from parent education classes. Our future is in our children and if we aren't educated on how to interact with them what kind of future are we going to have.

    Elliot Barenbaum from Walnut Creek, CA signed this petition on Apr 3, 2015.

    I am writing today to urge you to support designated funding for Older Adult/Consumer Education/Health and Fitness programs in the 2015-2016 budget. As a student at the Acalanes Adult Education in Walnut Creek, these classes have been important to me and others both mentally and physically. Many of the classes keep us informed and involved in both global, national, state and local issues. They also provide outlets for creative expression in all areas of the arts. Older adults can better prepare themselves financially and economically through the consumer education classes that have been offered. The sports and recreational programs provide tremendous health benefits which can decrease state healthcare costs. Everyone truly benefits, the individual(s) and their families. Please act to designate funding to help maintain these critical programs. Many voters believed that Proposition 30 would continue to fund adult programs.

    neil c riley from walnut creek, CA signed this petition on Mar 24, 2015.

    I signed prop. 30 expecting to have adult ed. options. Great decisions to be cancelled and forein language courses? Perhaps we should all go back to the dark ages. How pathetic with 63% of our budget going to ed. your office can't support those of us who put 50 years into funding schools and our economy and now are told to fend with 18 yr. olds for continuing ed. Tragic. My vote will change for sure over this.

    2793. Nancy E. Montoya from Orinda, CA signed this petition on Mar 23, 2015.

    Why spend our tax dollars to fix up older schools if you're going to cancel Adult Education classes for those same seniors who've paid those taxes for 50+ years? SHAME ON YOU! We may be old but we're definitely not stupid.


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